Australian students are being invited to be part of the nation’s polar history by sharing their vision of Antarctica 100 years from now.

The competition is part of celebrations marking the centenary of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911–1914, led by Australia’s Sir Douglas Mawson.

In no more than 100 words, Grade 5–9 students, are being asked for their thoughts and ideas of what Antarctica will be like by the time we reach Mawson’s bicentenary in 2111.

The five winning entries will be sealed in a time capsule to be installed at Commonwealth Bay in Antarctica, the place Douglas Mawson called ‘The Home of the Blizzard’.

The Director of the Australian Antarctic Division, Dr Tony Fleming said this is an exceptional opportunity for young people to share their dreams for the future of the icy continent.

“It was Mawson’s vision 100 years ago that established Australia as a leader in scientific research and environmental protection in Antarctica, he knew it contained useful information that would prove critical to a better understanding of issues such as global climate,” Dr Fleming said.

“But we are also reflecting on what Mawson’s expeditioners actually thought and felt about their time on the ice through their writings and photographs.

“We are hoping this competition will stimulate the imagination of today’s generation and inspire their ideas for what Antarctica will look like in another century,” he said.

A panel of judges will chose one winner from each grade and prizes will be awarded to the winning students and their schools.

The competition runs from 14 to 25 November, 2011. Entries should be submitted electronically via the Australian Antarctic Division website.

The names of winners and their schools will be announced on Wednesday 7 December, 2011.