Why we created the 2041 School initiative
Between 2041-2048, the current protection of Antarctica will be reviewed. By this time, the children of today will be young adults and potential protectors of the future.
That’s why Oddizzi, the online Primary Geography specialist, launched the Champions of Antarctica 2041 School Initiative (now a registered charity: 1202447).
We’re on a mission to open children’s eyes to the wonder of Antarctica and how important it is that we protect it.
And the best way to do that is through expert-led, engaging resources that show children exactly how Antarctica looks, sounds and affects those who visit. Most important of all, is that these resources are free so that as many people as possible can access them.
Making the free resource pack
In 2022, with polar explorer Robert Swan OBE, we created our first pack of resources suitable for KS1 and KS2. Written by Geography specialists and mapped to the National Curriculum, it is full of imaginative activities and beautifully-shot films (from Antarctica), with a solid educational basis.
Our aim is to get as many teachers and parents as possible to download this pack and in doing so, create Champions of Antarctica and 2041 Schools.
But with most of our budget going into the creation of the resources, our primary challenge has been raising awareness and driving resource downloads with purely organic social media marketing.
Thanks to a video-first, engagement-led strategy, we’ve managed to overcome this challenge with fantastic results and glowing teacher feedback.
Over the last 18 months, Instagram has pushed heavily for the creation and consumption of Reels. We knew that to maximize results organically, that’s where our focus needed to be.
How we smashed our goal with organic social
The main type of content we’ve created to bring our strategy to life is short-form video based on the films we captured in Antarctica for the free resource pack. They’re a mixture of professionally shot and edited interviews with polar explorers, as well as behind-the-scenes snippets to show our audience what goes into the making of the resources.
They’re as inspirational as they are educational, with lessons about how toilets work in Antarctica, what the continent sounds like, and how to land a plane on ice.
Incorporating our audience into our content has been a key factor in our success to date.
For example, we created the series ‘What children really want to know about Antarctica’, taking common questions we get from kids (via their teachers) and filming polar explorers’ and environmentalists’ answers.
And we’ve even filmed personal video messages from Robert Swan to classes using our resource pack. These videos generated a huge number of responses online — not to mention excitement offline from the children themselves!
The goal with Instagram has always been to make the videos as engaging as possible to encourage people to leave the platform and download the free resource pack.
Our initial target when we launched in September 2022 was to hit 600 resource downloads by the end of that month (which we did!).
By the end of March 2023 we’d hit 1200 resource downloads and won two educational awards – one from Bett and one from the Geographical Association. We were also one of only five nominees for The Shackleton Medal 2023.
How it feels to be nominated for a UK Social Media Award
When we heard we’d been nominated for a UK Social Media Award in the category ‘best charity / non for profit campaign’ we were absolutely thrilled.
It’s not easy to get traction on social media in 2023 without paid spend, and to be recognised for the results we’ve achieved by an esteemed panel of industry experts is hugely encouraging.
Not to mention the incredible organisations we’re nominated alongside!
To win this award and open even more peoples’ eyes to the wonder of Antarctica and how important it is that we protect it, would be incredible.
Not just for us as a team, but for the beautiful continent we’re dedicated to protecting.