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EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design

Philippe Cousteau Jr.’s EarthEcho International and the Northrop Grumman Foundation Bring Real World Science and Exploration to the Classroom with EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design

Los Angeles, CA (October 17, 2017): Leading environmental education and youth leadership nonprofit EarthEcho International is bringing 26 U.S.-based middle school teachers from across the country on an exploration of water scarcity in Southern California. Led by explorer and environmental advocate Philippe Cousteau, Jr., EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design takes place October 23-27, through the support of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. The initiative is part of EarthEcho Expeditions, an annual program that leverages the rich Cousteau legacy of exploration and discovery to bring STEM education alive for today’s 21st Century learners and their educators.

“EarthEcho Expeditions provides educators with the opportunity to bring the frontlines of environmental science and solutions into the classroom through exciting first-hand experiences that they can share with students around the world,” said Philippe Cousteau, Jr., founder of EarthEcho International. “Water quality and scarcity are growing issues for communities worldwide. The resources created through EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design will help inspire and equip a new generation of environmental champions and problem solvers to create a brighter, more sustainable future starting in their own communities.”

The participating teachers - or EarthEcho Expedition Fellows - will learn first hand from scientists and engineers in Southern California by examining how urban communities are implementing community resilience practices to better manage water resources. Water by Design will explore issues of water management and scarcity as they relate to the impacts of the ongoing drought on both human health and development and natural coastal and ocean systems. Expedition Fellows will experience on-site production of video resources and participate in collaborative curriculum development of adventure-based STEM learning modules. These modules will introduce students across the world to the innovative engineering and technology solutions being implemented to conserve water resources. During 2018, the EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design modules created by these teachers for middle school classrooms will be distributed digitally to schools across the world at no charge.  

EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design Expedition Fellows will explore a broad range of water-related issues and solutions including the following:

  • Exploration of the water supply that provides water for the more than 10 million Los Angeles county residents with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
  • Examination of the innovative technology used to predict water resource availability with NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory and Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Understanding the process of desalinization at the West Basin Water Education Center to explore how to safely and effectively use ocean water to supplement the regional water supply
  • Visiting one of the largest aquaponics farms in the U.S. to understand how this innovative farming practice can reduce water resource consumption.

Selected from hundreds of submissions nationwide, the EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design Expedition Fellows bring diverse experiences and a passion for sharing STEM learning with their students.  A full list of the 2017 Fellows and the schools they represent can be found at the end of this press release. You can also learn more about these remarkable teachers by visiting the EarthEcho website.

“We are thrilled to support teachers for the 2017 EarthEcho expedition in Southern California,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, Northrop Grumman’s vice president of global corporate responsibility, and president, the Northrop Grumman Foundation.  “This is a unique opportunity for middle school teachers to experience an expedition first hand and bring the topic of water scarcity and the innovative engineering and technology solutions addressing the issue back into their classrooms.  This initiative is closely tied to the company’s commitment to supporting environmental awareness and stewardship and we are proud to partner with EarthEcho to bring this opportunity to life.”

EarthEcho Expeditions: Water by Design is made possible through the generous support of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. In addition, the following organizations are collaborating with EarthEcho Expeditions to provide experts, resources, and one-of-a-kind educator experiences: West Basin Municipal Water District; Orange County Water District; The Ocean Institute; Los Angeles Water and Power; Future Foods Farms; Environmental Charter School; NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; NASA Airborne Snow Observatory; The North Face;  Washington Middle School; and The Journey School.

EARTHECHO INTERNATIONAL: 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 and by youth and the educators and community leaders that support them. 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  

NORTHROP GRUMMAN AND THE NORTHROP GRUMMAN FOUNDATION: Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation are committed to expanding and enhancing the pipeline of diverse, talented STEM students globally. In addition to the EarthEcho program, 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 2016, Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation continued outreach efforts by contributing $19.2 million to diverse STEM-related groups such as the Air Force Association (CyberPatriot), the REC Foundation (VEX Robotics), National Science Teachers Association, and the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering.

Media Contacts:

Norma Ardila

Cell: 786-213-5968

EarthEcho 2017 Expedition Fellows:

Name City, State School Name Grade Level
Adrian Polizu Torrance, CA Madrona Middle School  7 & 8
Amy Truemper Aurora, IL Bednarcik Junior High School  7 & 8
Csilla Koppany La Habra, CA Imperial Middle School     8
Daryth Morrissey Fountain Valley, CA Vista View Middle School  7 & 8
Debra Brice San Marcos, CA San Marcos Middle School     8
Erika Magdalena Coronado South Gate, CA

South Gate Middle School STEM Magnet

Heather Hendricks Palmdale, CA The Palmdale Aerospace Academy     6
Jim Trogdon Coventry, OH Coventry Middle School     6
Jinny Jung North Hollywood, CA Walter Reed Middle School  7 & 8
Katie Cohen Oak Park, CA Medea Creek Middle School   6-8
Kelsey McFadden Los Angeles, CA Girls Academic Leadership Academy  6 & 7
Kerry Cogan Lawndale, CA Will Rogers Middle School  6 & 8
Kim Jones Los Angeles, CA Thomas Starr King Middle School - Environmental STEAM Magnet     6
Laura Griffith Los Angeles, CA Arroyo Seco Museum Science Magnet School  7 & 8
Lawrence Ramos Los Angeles, CA Emerson Community Charter Middle School   6-8
Marianna O'Brien Santa Monica, CA Lincoln Middle School     8
Mary Shalaby Lawndale, CA Will Rogers Middle School     7
Mike Hale

Ladera Ranch, CA

Ladera Ranch Middle School  7 & 8
Susan Tate Whitehall, MI Whitehall Middle School     8
Tara O'Gorman Yonkers, NY Casimir Pulaski School     5
Tashanda Giles-Jones Inglewood, CA Environmental Charter Middle School   6-8
Teresa Sikora Rockledge, FL Andersen Elementary School     5
Veronica Gardea Los Angeles, CA Thomas Starr King Environmental STEAM Magnet     6
Wendy Martinez Arroyo Grande, CA Harloe Elementary School     5
Winston Chang South Gate, CA Valiente College Preparatory Charter School  5 & 6