Dr Melanie Windridge to summit Everest in Montane Supported Expedition to Inspire Young Women into Science. ‘The Science of Everest’ hopes to use Everest Summit attempt to educate and inspire youngsters into STEM fields.
Physicist and author, Dr Melanie Windridge, will be leading a science engagement programme around a summit attempt of Everest, with the goal of getting more young people to study and work in science – especially girls and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Expedition and programme is supported by Montane, who have supplied cold weather clothing and equipment that will significantly increase the expeditions chance of success.
The project, which is supported by the Institute of Physics and Royal Society of Chemistry, will run throughout 2018 with the summit attempt in April/May. As Melanie prepares for and scales the 8,848 meter summit, and faces the dangerous decent, she will explore how science and technology have made Everest - once the preserve of the world’s elite climbers - accessible to ordinary people.
Melanie is wearing a beacon which updates her position in near real-time on Everest - follow her progress here.
She will examine how the human body can be trained to undergo feats of extreme endurance, and how to stack the odds of survival in your favour. As she heads higher, she’ll share stories of how new technology keeps us connected on the mountain, how meteorologists are getting better at spotting when extreme weather will strike, and how the molecules in clothing can be manipulated to keep in heat and keep out snow and wind. She will meet the doctors working at base camp and find out why the thin air around Everest’s summit makes helicopter rescue missions so dangerous.
Melanie is working with the Institute of Physics to develop educational resources, run school workshops and deliver a lecture tour using the Science of the Summit theme to excite young people about the role of science in our lives and the possibilities of a career in science. There will be a particular focus on young women, with Melanie providing a strong female role model as both a scientist and adventurer. This will be supported by a broader media campaign to raise awareness of science and science careers to the public.
This is a practical, careers-focussed engagement programme which is partnering with innovative companies such as Montane that invest heavily in R&D in areas such as clothing, communications and fitness, to showcase the wide range of exciting careers open to science graduates and the impact of these roles on peoples’ lives.
You can read more about the ascent on the Montane Expedition Blog.