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Looking out to the front of the SA Agulhas II ship sailing through the ocean in Antarctica, with pack ice all around

2019 Weddell Sea Expedition

A pioneering Antarctic expedition into the depths of the frozen Weddell Sea.

About the 2019 Weddell Sea Expedition

Bringing together world-leading experts in polar and marine exploration in a mission to solve unanswered questions about one of the most remote and least-studied wilderness areas on our planet. 

The expedition:

  • Investigated the ice shelves around the Weddell Sea and, in particular, the Larsen C Ice Shelf from which a giant iceberg broke off in July 2017.
  • Documented the rich and little-studied marine life of the western Weddell Sea ecosystem.
  • Attempted to locate and survey the wreck of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance, which was trapped and crushed by the ice and sank in the Weddell Sea in 1915. Conditions in the Weddell Sea sadly prevented the team from reaching Endurance in 2019.

The Society worked with the 2019 expedition to provide educational resources to inspire young people about science, engineering and technology, as well as the protection of Antarctica. This work and the accompanying 2019 expedition resources ensure that the research and findings are shared as widely as possible to students and schools around the world.

For additional educational resources about Antarctica for primary and secondary schools take a look at our Resources for schools page.

Find out more about the Endurance22 Expedition, which located the wreck of Endurance, Sir Ernest Shackleton's ship, in March 2022.

Additional resources are available for KS1 and KS2 pupils from Scott Polar Research Institute.   

The 2019 Weddell Sea Expedition was funded by the Flotilla Foundation. The Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, leads the pioneering science programme, in partnership with The Nekton Oxford Deep Ocean Research Institute, and a team of international researchers from South Africa and New Zealand. The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) was the expedition education partner in the UK.


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KS3 football on ice


199 KB

Antarctic Map from BAS


660 KB

Food web activity answers


455 KB

Gallery of images


7 MB

Geography of the Weddell Sea


256 KB

Glossary of key terms


176 KB

Ice shelf processes in Antarctica


198 KB

KS3 design your own equipment


232 KB

A tale of two ships


189 KB

KS2 KS3 Life on board the ice breaker SA Agulhas II


520 KB

KS2 odd one out - getting to the Weddell Sea


288 KB

KS2 teaching ideas and examples of work


782 KB

KS3 how far from


275 KB

KS3 life above the ice in the Weddell Sea


199 KB

KS3 life below the ice in the Weddell Sea


578 KB

KS4 and KS5 A68 iceberg


470 KB

KS5 ice shelves in Antarctica podcast activities


212 KB

Primary schools poster


201 KB

Secondary schools poster


202 KB

Shackleton expedition timeline


203 KB

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