The Shackleton Challenge is a Transition Year programme developed by the Shackleton Committee in Athy it is part of the Outreach projects programme from Athy Heritage Centre Museum.
This year, 90 Transition Year students have taken part in the programme and the final will take place, on Friday, May 5 in Ardscoil Na Trionóide from 10.30am to 12.30pm and will see student teams and their projects assessed by the 'Polar Bears', comprising business and civic leaders.
The Shackleton Challenge exposes TY students to team dynamics and project management. Over a 10 week period, students work to deliver a defined project through teamwork. They receive contact sessions with mentors drawn from civic and business organisations, as well as presentations on team dynamics and project management.
The team and project scenario is designed to simulate the modern work and college environment, and is described as a unique selling point of the Shackleton Challenge. According to organisers engagement with local civic and business organisations helps overcome perceived barriers for both parties.
Shackleton is described as still being a relevant and accessible role model for TY students as they experiment with the adult world and their identity. Shackleton's reputation worldwide, and the growing importance of Kildare and Athy's connection with Shackleton makes Athy the natural home for the Shackleton Challenge.
2017 is the fifth year of the programme, which was also selected as the 'Best Initiative for second level students' at a recent conference in Cambridge on Shackleton’s Legacy.