Girls* on Ice Aotearoa NZ

Girls* on Ice is part of Inspiring Girls* Expeditions, an international programme empowering young women through science, art, and outdoor exploration. The programme originated in the USA, and is now also operating in Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Central Asia and New Zealand. Girls* aged 15-16 years can join tuition-free expeditions that interweave field science, art, and backcountry travel.

Girls* on Ice Aotearoa NZ expedition 2024, photo by Bex Parsons-King

The inaugural New Zealand expedition ran in January 2024, with an expedition to Mt Ruapehu in central North Island. Ten girls* from over 250 applicants were selected, based at schools throughout the country from Winton in the south to Auckland in the north. Led by a team of Antarctic Research Centre scientists, a US-based artist and an outdoor specialist, the group explored the Mt Ruapehu region through science experiments and fieldwork, artistic projects and mountain safety training.

Comments from 2024 participants via an anonymous survey:

“I really enjoyed learning about so many different things in such a vast range of areas and it really confirmed that I want to pursue a career in environmental sciences.”

“I want to involve myself in as many things as I can. Even if I think it won't be fun, even if I really don't want to, I should just do it. What’s stopping me from participating? Who knows what I'll learn...”

“The expedition made me appreciate my life and where I live a lot more. Meeting girls with so many different backgrounds was really eye opening and I found it so cool that we bonded despite our differences. It taught me that I can be a good leader if I set my mind to it.”

Following the tour, the expedition team presented a talk about their week, including science experiment results and art work, to an audience at Victoria University of Wellington. You can watch the full presentation here.

The next Girls* on Ice Aotearoa New Zealand expedition will run in January 2025. Applications will open in mid-2024 to all girls* aged 15-16 years at New Zealand schools. Join the Girls* on Ice mailing list to receive news, updates and notification of when applications for the 2025 expedition open.

*We welcome cisgender girls and transgender, agender, nonbinary, intersex, and genderqueer youth.