Hambright teacher to visit Falkland Islands, Antarctica under Grosvenor Fellowship

Hambright Elementary teacher Katie Harnish will be traveling to the Falkland Islands in November to begin a teacher fellowship sponsored by the National Geographic Society and Lindblad Expeditions.

Harnish, who teaches fourth grade, is one of only 50 teachers from the United States and Canada to be selected for the Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship. Beginning November 7, she will be traveling to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island and Antarctica aboard the National Geographic Explorer, an ice-class expedition vessel.

She and the other teacher fellows will work with marine biologists, geologists, historians, undersea specialists and National Geographic photographers to learn more about these environments so they can return home with curriculum resources to share with their students and colleagues.

The Grosvenor Fellows were selected through a competitive application process based on their “impactful work to further students’ understanding of the planet and its people,” according to National Geographic.

Harnish and her students have been involved in several environmental projects in recent years, including studying the woodlands and wetlands surrounding their school, researching the impact of humans on the ecosystem of nearby streams and learning about ways to minimize the impact of development on the watershed. 

Harnish was notified of her selection in early 2020, but the expedition was delayed until next fall due to the pandemic.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime professional development opportunity, so I plan to fully utilize each day to collect information, stories, and artifacts to share with students and teachers when I return,” Harnish said.

“I’m especially excited to experience the albatross colonies of the Falklands, the glaciers of Antarctica, and the king penguin colonies and final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton on South Georgia Island.”

Harnish also plans to collect 360-degree images of each stop along the way to create a virtual reality tour to share with her students.

Congratulations to Katie Harnish, and best wishes on her upcoming adventure!

Katie Harnish in her classroom at Hambright Elementary School.