FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Jan. 15, 2019 – The Northrop Grumman Foundation and EarthEcho International launched new teaching tools today called EarthEcho Expedition: PlasticSeas, to get kids excited about science and encourage them to work to prevent the plastics pollution plaguing our oceans. The videos, lesson plans and design challenges are available free of charge to any teacher worldwide and are the culmination of a recent expedition in Australia, sponsored by the Northrop Grumman Foundation. All classroom materials were developed collaboratively and vetted by the 28 participating Australian and American educators who currently serve as EarthEcho Expedition Fellows. 

The Northrop Grumman Foundation and Philippe Cousteau, Jr.’s EarthEcho International Empower Teachers and Students to Help Save Oceans from the Plastic Trash Crisis

      The EarthEcho Expedition: PlasticSeas suite of classroom resources are available at http://www.earthecho.org/news/virtual-field-trip-eat-less-plastic. The event is recorded for viewing at: www.YouTube.com/EarthEcho, or through the link for the event.

        “We’ve all seen horrifying pictures of animals stuck in discarded plastic six-pack rings around their necks in the ocean. In Australia, we swam alongside fur seals, cleaned up a beach, discovered a new species of dolphin, learned about ‘urban’ penguins and most disturbingly, found plastics while dissecting dried bird vomit,” said Philippe Cousteau, Jr., EarthEcho International founder and grandson of the legendary explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau. “We need to find better solutions to combat the devastating impact plastic pollution is having on one of our most important resources - the ocean. This is about inspiring children to lead change by giving them tools and guidance along the way – because we can’t have lasting change without them.”

       Made possible by the Northrop Grumman Foundation, EarthEcho’s latest series of teaching tools includes everything teachers need to convey the enormity of the plastics pollution situation, what actions are in play and what students can do to help.

        “Northrop Grumman is thrilled to support EarthEcho International in their release of expedition related educational materials again this year,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation and Northrop Grumman vice president of global corporate responsibility.  “We look forward to classrooms around the world using these materials to spark student enthusiasm of STEM concepts and the environment.”

        The EarthEcho Expedition: PlasticSeas classroom materials include the following elements:

  • Expedition Videos – Explore Australia’s breathtaking and fragile coastlines with Philippe Cousteau and leading experts as they examine the life cycle of plastic products and their impact on marine life and coastal communities.

  • Youth in Action Videos – Young environmental leaders share their inspiring stories of how they are tackling the issue of ocean plastics and making a positive impact.

  • STEM Career Close-ups Videos – Students hear from an engaging and diverse group of scientists and researchers who are helping to turn the tide on ocean plastics pollution.

  • Classroom Lesson Plans and Design Challenges – Utilizing design challenges and science-based approaches, EarthEcho Expedition: PlasticSeas lesson plans aim to inspire and equip students to find solutions to a range of real-world challenges such as developing alternatives to single-use plastics and engineering solutions to waste in our schools.

  • Virtual Field Trip - Eat Less Plastic, hosted by Magen Schifiliti, conservation and education director at Trilogy Excursions, provides information about the global plastic problem and why single-use plastics are harmful to the environment.

Northrop Grumman Foundation - EarthEcho Expeditions - Plastics Seas - Australia - Philippe Coustea Jr. and teacher using quadrant on the beach - Oct. 2 2018
Philippe Cousteau, Jr. and a teacher use a quadrant to help study plastic pollution in Australia

        In another initiative to support teachers and STEM, last month the Northrop Grumman Foundation and the National Science Teachers Association announced the selection of 28 middle school science, technology, and engineering teachers as 2018-19 Teacher Fellows in the Northrop Grumman Foundation Teachers Academy. Launched in 2016, the Teachers Academy was created to help enhance teacher confidence and classroom excellence in science, technology and engineering, while increasing teacher understanding about the skills needed for a scientifically literate workforce.

        Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation are dedicated to expanding and enhancing sustainable science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education opportunities for students globally. In 2018, the organizations contributed nearly $20 million to diverse, STEM-focused organizations and programs. Our partnerships focus on engineering and technology-based initiatives that excite, engage and educate students and provide professional development opportunities for their teachers, with an emphasis on middle school and university level programs. Defending cyber networks, engineering autonomous vehicles and exploring space are some of the capabilities students develop as they experience the excitement of STEM through programs supported by Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation.

        EarthEcho International believes 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, EarthEcho inspires young people worldwide to act now for a sustainable future. EarthEcho’s programs are developed for and by youth and the educators and community leaders that support them.

        Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, space, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide. Please visit news.northropgrumman.com and follow us on Twitter, @NGCNews, for more information.                                                                                                          

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