The Adventure is Out There.
Between May and December 2014, Sarah Weldon and three Ocean Project Leaders will be rowing over 7200 nautical miles from Monteray Bay, California to Hawaii and onto Cairns, Australia. Each day they will be hosting a free and open-to-all online class on their WizIQ Virtual Classroom, from the middle of the ocean along with 3D film footage of deep sea coral reefs and sharks or Mauna Lao, Hawaii, the largest volcano in the world.
While returning to UK, the expedition will visit 4000 young orphans and refugees in Thailand, who are protected by their favorite charity, The Thai Children’s Trust.
In 2015, will come the ultimate adventure, when Sarah will set out from Russia, and attempt to become the first person to reach the 4th pole of Arctic or the ‘Northern Pole of Inaccessibility’, which, as the name suggests, is farthest from any land mass and is located on the Arctic Ocean pack ice. Amongst taking up the onerous tasks of walking on frozen ocean, swimming parts of it when necessary, looking out for hungry polar bears and sharks and fighting hurricanes and storms, Sarah’s team will be putting technology to test by taking online classes on WizIQ and also updating their whereabouts on Twitter, Facebook and the blog.
The Story so far.
Not so long ago there was an English teacher, passionate about teaching and English. She was blessed with a career at the National Health Service, in a country of the native speakers, England. She enjoyed the luxury of a continuous supply of electricity, water and heating, and always had friends and family around her. She had it all.
But it is said of the explorers, in Thoreau’s words,
“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature…”
And so in October 2010, came the twist in the tale, when the English teacher renounced her zone of opulence, and accepted a post to teach English as a foreign language for the Ministry of Education and Science in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. In this sovereign country that is located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, she found herself teaching in a Georgian-Russian School in the country’s capital Tbilisi.
Georgia is ranked as one of the 34 world biodiversity hotspots, yet people are insensitive towards nature and keep on piling plastic in rivers and beautiful spots. In an attempt to grow awareness about the environment and impart life skills to young Georgians, she, with a bunch of 12 year olds, with no funds or materials, but an ardent passion for environment, started the Oceans Projects Georgia or OPG, and called themselves the Oceans Ambassadors for the planet.
Oceans Project is a 32-week environmental science and practical English course based on the BBC Oceans television series, and is an initiative to connect the young Georgians with their peers all over the globe. The young planeteers learn through collaboration, interaction, friendship and hands-on experience. Scroll down to look at some pictures.
Welcome Aboard WizIQ
OPG has a vision, that education be accessible to all, no matter how poor or disadvantaged or remotely placed they might be. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fanciful. All the learners need is a tablet computer, solar charger, internet and WizIQ and for achieving this, the OPG aims to raise enough funds, so lessons can be accessed from anywhere and the world gets connected.
Being a relatively new NGO, the project found WizIQ not only cost-effective but a fantastic web platform that would bridge the gap of thousands of miles and several time zones. And as Sarah herself puts it, “ The fact that we are even considering hosting classes from two of the most remote locations in the world through WizIQ, is a huge testament to that”
More about the English Teacher and her Dream Project:
Sarah Weldon is the Founder and Director of Oceans Project Georgia (http://www.oceansproject.com/).
8-25 year olds can now sign up for the online Oceans Project Georgia course: http://www.wiziq.com/course/7002-oceans-project-georgia.You can also follow her Pacific Ocean row: www.fourbirdsaboating.com or read the daily diary: http://howtocrossanocean.wordpress.com/
Back and Sponsor the project by going here: http://www.sponsume.com/project/pacific-ocean-row-2014