Johannesburg, 19 January 2021: Professional Provident Society (PPS), a financial services company that provides intelligent financial solutions to graduate professionals, is excited to partner with Matrics in Antarctica, founded by world-renowned global explorer, Riaan Manser. PPS actively seeks to play a societal role in investing in initiatives that will contribute towards a better world for future professionals and leaders.

“As part of our belief that success is better shared, we know that our role in this innovative programme, especially with its focus on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field, will complement the National Development Plan (2030) by helping to close the skills gap, give learners an opportunity to implement their interests in environmental conservation of the planet and most importantly create a ripple effect of knowledge sharing,” says Ayanda Seboni, Executive: PPS Brand, Marketing & Communications.

“These young scientific minds will benefit through this experiential learning opportunity of a lifetime. We believe that this will be a gamechanger in their lives and help to supercharge their academic goals in the careers they pursue,” adds Seboni.

The Matrics in Antarctica competition provides every single matric student in South Africa to vie to become one of the five lucky matriculants to go on a five-day scientific adventure to Antarctica.  On entry, participants had to answer the question: “what will exploration of the Antarctic continent do to help us preserve a greener, more sustainable existence on our planet?”

The adjudication and selection process, led by professor in the education faculty at Stellenbosch University Jonathan Jansen and patron of Matrics in Antarctica will see the five winners put their winning submissions to test on the coldest, barest continent itself.

“PPS is also honoured to provide each of the five winners life and disability cover that covers hazardous pursuits and international events, ensuring that our future scientists and environmentalists are fully protected and because success is better shared,” adds Seboni.

The study tour sets off at the end of January 2021 and be led by Riaan Manser and a distinguished team of professors from the University of Stellenbosch.

A host of activities have been lined up including scientific experiments, survival lessons, camping and kayaking as well as an attempt to set a record for the Guinness Book of World Records for the 100-metre sprint.

“PPS would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the top five students whose submissions have set them on an adventure of a lifetime in Antarctica. We are hopeful that the guidance and support from leaders and contributors will make a significant contribution to the next wave of empowered young graduate professionals,” concludes Seboni.

The Matrics in Antarctica organisers and the five winners – Thea J Earnest (Mountview Secondary School in KwaZulu Natal); Kelby Barker (Diocesan School for Girls in Eastern Cape); Cobus Burger (Hoërskool Duineveld in the Northern Cape); Boiketlo Lamula (Sedaven High School in Gauteng) and Ayakha Melithafa (Centre of Science and Technology in the Western Cape) – have completed their COVID-19 tests and are in isolation ahead of the journey.  While away, they will adhere to strict protocols to protect themselves to fully enjoy the experience and fly the South African flag for all Matrics in Antarctica.

Follow their expedition on Instagram (matricsinantarctica), Twitter (@MatricsIn) and Facebook (Matrics in Antarctica – 2020).