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EarthEcho Expeditions: PlasticSeas is underway

Northrop Grumman Foundation and Philippe Cousteau Jr.’s EarthEcho International Bring Real World Science and Exploration to the Classroom with EarthEcho Expedition: PlasticSeas in Australia

25 Australian teachers are exploring the impact of plastics in Port Phillip Bay and the ocean

MELBOURNE, Australia – Oct. 6, 2018 –The Northrop Grumman Foundation and leading environmental education and youth leadership nonprofit EarthEcho International are supporting 25 Australian teachers (years 6-8) on an exploration of plastics and their impact on the ocean in the Melbourne area. Led by explorer and environmental advocate Philippe Cousteau, Jr., EarthEcho Expedition: PlasticSeas took place the week of October 1st, 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 learners and educators.

“EarthEcho Expeditions provides educators with the opportunity to bring cutting-edge environmental science, solutions-focused resources into the classroom through exciting firsthand experiences that they can then share with students around the world,” said Philippe Cousteau, Jr., founder of EarthEcho International. “Solving the plastic pollution crisis is a critical environmental issue for communities worldwide. The resources created through EarthEcho Expedition: PlasticSeas will equip a new generation of environmental champions to create a brighter, more sustainable future starting in their own communities.”

The participating teachers - called EarthEcho Expedition Fellows – have learned from Australian experts in science and engineering how communities are working to combat ocean plastics. EarthEcho Expedition: PlasticSeas explored the impact of plastic pollution on marine organisms, habitats and humans in real time. Now Expedition Fellows will participate in collaborative curriculum development of adventure-based STEM learning modules to accompany digital video resources recorded during the teachers’ Expedition. These modules will introduce students worldwide to the innovative engineering and technology solutions helping remove ocean plastic pollution and provide alternatives to plastic use. During 2019, the EarthEcho Expedition: PlasticSeas modules that target years 6-8 classrooms will be distributed digitally to schools around the world at no cost through EarthEcho’s website.

EarthEcho Expedition: PlasticSeas Expedition Fellows are exploring a broad range of plastic-related issues and solutions including:

  • An examination of the local marine protected area with an in-water experience
  • An analysis of the impacts of plastics on humans and marine organisms, such as marine mammals and birds, including the iconic little blue penguins of Port Phillip Bay
  • Exploration of the technological and research-based solutions to urban plastic pollution issues

Selected from numerous submissions across Australia, the EarthEcho Expedition: PlasticSeas Expedition Fellows bring diverse experiences and a passion for sharing STEM learning with their students. A full list of the 2018 Fellows and the schools they represent can be found at the end of this press release. More information on the teachers is available at the EarthEcho website.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with EarthEcho International, and expand the Expedition series to Australia,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, Northrop Grumman’s vice president of global corporate responsibility, and president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. “Northrop Grumman is committed to environmental stewardship and awareness. Oceans are fundamental to life on earth and this program supports our environmental goals and also our efforts to expand an interest in STEM globally.”

In addition to support from the Northrop Grumman Foundation, EarthEcho Expeditions: PlasticSeas is assisted by the following organizations who are providing experts, resources and one-of-a kind educator experiences: Parks Victoria, Plastic Pollution Solutions, Tangaroa Blue, The Marine Mammal Foundation, Port Phillip EcoCentre, Melbourne Down Under, Sheree Marris, Sustainability Victoria, The Melbourne Zoo, Victoria University, Red Boats and the University of Tasmania.


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 their 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 are committed to expanding and enhancing the pipeline of diverse, talented STEM students globally. The organizations 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 STEM-related groups such as the Air Force Association (CyberPatriot), the REC Foundation (VEX Robotics), National Science Teachers Association, Great Minds in Stem (Viva Technology) and EarthEcho’s International EarthEcho Expeditions. Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide. Please visit and follow us on Twitter, @NGCNews, for more information.