Instructors from Maryland, California, Colorado and Virginia to spend two weeks in Costa Rica preparing to become better science teachers

FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- April 30, 2014 -- Northrop Grumman and Conservation International (CI) today announced the 16 teachers who have been selected to participate in the third ECO Classroom, a unique and innovative professional development program for public middle and high school science teachers. The Northrop Grumman Foundation, in collaboration with CI, created the program which has sent groups of teachers to Costa Rica the last two summers. The program offers teachers supplemental tools and real-world experiences that inspire students to pursue science and technical careers.

It is widely acknowledged among educators and policymakers that insufficient numbers of students are entering into science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. One way to address this issue and emphasize environmental stewardship is to motivate educators to engage students in the sciences and to bring unique learning opportunities into their classrooms with real-world curricula and hands-on experiences such as ECO Classroom.

The ECO Classroom program brings groups of public school teachers from across the United States to CI's Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network's ( ) Volcan Barva site in La Selva Biological Station and Braulio Carrillo National Park, Costa Rica. They participate in field data collection on plant and animal biodiversity, climate and land use using TEAM scientific protocols.

The teachers and schools attending this summer are:

During last year's two-week expedition, 16 ECO Classroom teachers from across the United States conducted group projects in the field and created lessons based on their projects dealing with land use, forest carbon sequestration, and biodiversity using scientific protocols. They returned to their schools with an in-depth understanding of the interrelationship between biodiversity, climate change and human activities and were better equipped with new techniques and resources to enhance their classroom teaching.

"We are in our third year of working with Conservation International on ECO Classroom and we are very pleased with the program's expanding impact on science instruction," said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation and vice president of Northrop Grumman Global Corporate Responsibility. "So far we have reached an estimated 8,500 science, technology, engineering and mathematics students through the participation of teachers from 32 U.S. middle and high schools, and that number will grow as the program continues this summer."

"We're excited to see this group of talented teachers travel to the TEAM site in Costa Rica. In the last two years, our collaboration with Northrop Grumman has helped teachers bring ecology, environmental science and biology lessons to life for their students," said Sandy Andelman, senior vice president and chief scientist of Conservation International. "With the 2014 cohort of teachers, thousands more students will be exposed to innovative methods to study the effects of land use and climate change on biodiversity."

About Conservation International

Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the long term well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI is headquartered in the Washington, D.C., area and employs more than 800 staff in over 30 countries on four continents and works with more than 1,000 partners around the world. For more information, please see , or visit us on Facebook , Twitter and YouTube .

About the Northrop Grumman Foundation

The Northrop Grumman Foundation supports diverse and sustainable programs for students and teachers. These programs create innovative education experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For more information please visit .

  CONTACT: Mark Root
         Northrop Grumman Corporation
         703-280-2739 (office)
         571-425-2132 (cell)
         Kevin Connor
         Conservation International

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Team Name Name Location School Name
Sound Jose Ngoc Hoang – team lead San Jose, CA Yerba Buena High School
Thanh-Lam Nguyen San Jose, CA Independence High School
Sara Bourbour San Jose, CA Santa Teresa High School
Chris Smith San Jose, CA Piedmont Hills High School
Colorado Carbon Crusaders Erin Zarko – team lead Durango, CO Durango High School
Danielle Belmont Durango, CO Miller Middle School
Mark Walser Durango, CO Mountain Middle School
Jennifer Lavelle Durango, CO Escalante Middle School
Charm City Chicas Susan Gottschalk-Yoder – team lead Baltimore, MD Stemmers Run Middle School
Sara Mullin Baltimore, MD Dundalk Middle School
Jennifer Greenawalt Baltimore, MD Holabird Middle School
Anuradha Bajpai Windsor Mill, MD Windsor Mill Middle School
Los Ecologistas Locos Jennifer Garcell – team lead Portsmouth, VA I.C. Norcom High School
Cami Field Portsmouth, VA Churchland High School
Paul Sarandria Portsmouth, VA Woodrow Wilson High School
Leslie Bulger Portsmouth, VA Churchland Middle School