Horsham student wins Royal Geography prize

Millais pupil Katie Banks SUS-151214-143603001
Millais pupil Katie Banks SUS-151214-143603001

A Horsham pupil has been announced as a ‘Young Geographer of the Year’ by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

Katie Banks, a pupil at Millais School, came out on top in the 14-16 age category on Friday December 4.

The 15-year-old said: “The competition was a great experience for me. I never expected to win and I’m really grateful and proud.”

To coincide with the 100th anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s attempt to cross Antarctica, thousands of pupils across the country were asked to design posters responding to the question ‘Why does Antarctica matter?’ for the annual competition.

Katie’s far-reaching poster discussed the impact of climate change on the continent, its wildlife and tourism, as well as the Antarctic treaty.

It also featured her own handmade maps, which she copied from books she found in Horsham Library.

In her own words, Katie said that Antartica matters because it is ‘a great place for scientific study. The holes in the ozone layer were first discovered there, for example.’

Her parents told the County Times: “We are very proud of Katie. She worked really hard and enjoyed doing this project immensely.”

While Claire Power, her teacher, said: “I am incredibly proud of Katie’s achievement, as are all of the staff at Millais School.

“I have taught Katie geography for four years and have always been impressed with her enthusiasm and natural ability in the subject,

“Katie’s Antarctica project was completed independently and clearly demonstrated her skills that she has gained. It was a pleasure to accompany her to receive her award, Katie is a fantastic ambassador for our school and other young geographers,” she added.

When asked about the inspiration behind her poster, Katie said, “My teacher Ms. Power inspired me to do my best.”

Steve Brace, head of education & outdoor learning at the Royal Geographical Society said: “The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) was delighted to recognise Katie’s high quality work on Antarctica.

“She clearly recognised the importance of this continent in relation to scientific research into climate change, noting that it is ‘a place which helps us predict the future of our life and world around us by studying the past and present,” he added.