FALLS CHURCH, Va. – April 12, 2018 – The Northrop Grumman Foundation and EarthEcho International invite Australia-based teachers (grades 6-8) to join Philippe Cousteau Jr. on an exploration of the effects of development and pollution on coastal areas near Melbourne, Australia. Like all EarthEcho Expeditions, Expedition: Plastic Seas leverages the rich Cousteau legacy of exploration and discovery to bring science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education alive for today’s teachers. Selected teachers, known as Expedition Fellows, will leave this experience with classroom materials developed to inspire students to engage with engineering design around one of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time.

Interested teachers can find more information on how to apply here: http://earthecho.org/expeditions. The application deadline is May 18, 2018, and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the deadline.

During Oct. 1-5, 2018 the selected Expedition Fellows join scientists and engineers to learn more about the consequences of coastal development and human pollution, particularly plastics, along Australia’s southern coast, with a focus on the ecosystems of Port Philip Bay.

Expedition Fellows participate in on-site environmental remediation activities that they then translate into adventure-based STEM learning modules guided by EarthEcho International staff and partners. These modules introduce students to innovative solutions that address pollution, including plastic trash in marine environments while challenging youth to develop their own solutions. During 2019, digital versions of the modules created by the Expedition Fellows will be provided online to classrooms across the world at no cost.

“EarthEcho Expeditions provide educators with a firsthand opportunity to experience environmental issues and meet the people who are developing solutions to solve them. Our focus with each expedition is to create place-based educational experiences that can be accessed globally through the work of our Expedition Fellows,” said Philippe Cousteau, Jr., founder of EarthEcho International. “Australia is home to some of our most important and endangered natural wonders. We are excited to partner with the Northrop Grumman Foundation on this year’s expedition to examine groundbreaking ways to protect these treasures and the people and communities who depend on them.”  

 “Northrop Grumman is thrilled to continue our support of EarthEcho International for a second year,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation and Northrop Grumman vice president of global corporate responsibility. “We look forward to working with educators in Australia to spark enthusiasm of STEM concepts and the environment in their students.”       

Last year’s EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design, brought 26 middle school teachers to Southern California for an exploration of water scarcity. Learning modules produced in that Expedition examined aquaponics, ocean desalination, groundwater replenishment, precision irrigation and water transport. STEM career videos featuring leading scientists and engineers from Northrop Grumman, NASA, Future Foods Farms, and municipal water districts gave students insight into STEM and environmental sustainability careers.

Northrop Grumman Foundation and EarthEcho International Invite Australian Teachers to Examine Impacts of Plastic Pollution along Australia’s Southern Coast
EarthEcho CEO Philippe Cousteau, Jr. (right), discusses the 2017 EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design program which brought 26 middle school teachers to Southern California for an exploration of water scarcity. Cousteau will lead the 2018 expedition in Australia.

EarthEcho International is a nonprofit organization founded on the belief that youth have the power to change our planet. Established by siblings Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau in honor of their father Philippe Cousteau Sr. and grandfather legendary explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, our mission is to inspire young people worldwide to act now for a sustainable future. EarthEcho’s programs are developed for youth and teachers by youth and teachers. All of our resources are designed to equip new generations of leaders and problem solvers to identify and tackle environmental challenges in their own communities and beyond. For more information about EarthEcho International, visit www.earthecho.org.  

Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation are committed to expanding and enhancing the pipeline of diverse, talented STEM students globally. They provide funding to sustainable STEM programs that span from preschool to high school and through collegiate levels, with a major emphasis on middle school students and teachers. In 2017, Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation continued outreach efforts by contributing over $20.4 million to diverse STEM-related groups such as AFA and CyberPatriot, the REC Foundation (VEX Robotics), National Science Teachers Association, Great Minds in Stem (Viva Technology) and EarthEcho International’s Expeditions.