Lakeside Announces GSL Antarctica


What do Costa Rica, Morocco, Thailand, Fiji, French Polynesia, and Ecuador all have in common? They are all places where students can spend a month of their summer through a GSL trip; however, these countries only represent five out of seven continents. In an effort to fix this issue, Lakeside’s Global Programs department recently announced the addition of a new GSL trip this summer: Antarctica. 

In an interview with Associate Director of Global Programs Lisa Devine, she stated that “GSL is constantly striving to give Lakesiders an opportunity to experience a variety of new things and learn more about themselves and the world around them; we truly believe that the addition of GSL Antarctica will deeply enrich the education of our students.” In addition to enriching the education of Lakesiders who go on the trip, Ms. Devine also expressed optimism that those students could use their newly acquired knowledge to coordinate Antarctica-themed activities for the whole school. 

For the 10 brave students who decide to go on this new trip, there will be numerous preparations needed in Seattle long before it begins. First, penguin-language immersion classes are required for all students to become, at a minimum, conversational in penguin. Immersion classes are set to take place at the penguin exhibit at the Woodland Park Zoo, and, of course, will be in a flipped-classroom format. Additionally, in an effort to adequately prepare students for the extreme low temperatures in Antarctica, Lakeside is providing each student on the trip with a Canada Goose coat.

First, penguin-language immersion classes are required for all students to become, at a minimum, conversational in penguin.

When it’s finally time for the trip, students will begin the arduous journey to Antarctica by taking multiple flights to get to Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world. From there, the trip will embark on a two day journey via boat to Antarctica, crossing the Drake Passage, infamous for its rough conditions and 40-foot waves, along the way.

In line with other summer GSL trips, students will be living in home-stays, but due to the lack of people in Antarctica, students will instead live in igloos with families of penguins. There will be a plethora of experiences for students to participate in such as a polar plunge, sea kayaking, conducting scientific research, penguin immersion activities, and igloo building, to name just a few. All of these activities will allow students to learn in unique ways and will, of course, provide them with ample opportunities to utilize unstructured problem solving.

The announcement of GSL Antarctica is certainly exciting, not only to students who will be going on the trip, but for what it means for the future of the Global Programs department. Presuming this trip is a success, they aim to become even more ambitious and expand their repertoire of trips to include GSL Mars by 2030.