Students from Bathgate Academy were filmed as they spent 10 days in Eastern Greenland for a BBC documentary series. They will appear in a new, four-part series – Arctic Academy - charting the journey of the group as they embark on the school trip of a lifetime. The first show airs on BBC Scotland on October 9th.
200 applicants were whittled down to just 10 13, 14 and 15 years olds from West Lothian and were put through their paces by explorer and Polar Academy founder, Craig Mathieson – a veteran of expeditions to both the Arctic and Antarctic who set up the Polar Academy as a charity in 2013.
Mathieson’s aim is to help young people in Scotland combat chronic anxiety and lack of self-esteem by becoming role models to their peers. He focusses on the children he calls “the invisibles”; neither the high achievers nor troublemakers, who often pass through school unseen and never get the opportunity to shine.
Accompanying the group are Nigel Williams - an expert on map reading. George MacHardy. a former Royal Marine and mountain expert, team Doctor Naomi Dodds and Mollie Hughes, the youngest woman to have climbed Mount Everest from both sides.
A spokesperson for the documentary team said: "A year ago they were unexceptional teenagers from the middle ground of an ordinary school, invisibles among their classmates. Now they are a team of teenage Arctic explorers ready for anything."