Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau—grandchildren of the legendary aquatic explorer Jacques Cousteau—are co-founders of EarthEcho International, which inspires young people to act for a sustainable future. The signature EarthEcho Expeditions program, brings STEM topics to life for students and teachers, focusing on exploration of a geographic area facing an environmental crisis.
EarthEcho worked with the Northrop Grumman Foundation to develop learning modules from their annual expedition that could be used by teachers anywhere, earning Northrop Grumman first place in the “Corporate-Nonprofit Partnership” category of PR Daily’s Nonprofit PR Awards.
The EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design took place in southern California, examining the water resource management struggle brought on by the region’s persistent five year drought. The educators and students who participated learned from scientists, engineers, and policymakers to focus on water sources and transport, innovative solutions to manage supply and demand, and agricultural solutions that are transforming agribusiness.
The Northrop Grumman Foundation is committed to engineering and technology-based programs that engage middle school students in STEM topics, making the EarthEcho partnership an exciting opportunity to support U.N. Sustainable Development Goal No. 4—providing workforce-relevant professional development programming to middle school STEM educators.
The Water by Design module that resulted from the partnership comprises a comprehensive series of materials that include videos, lesson plans and design challenges, along with live virtual events that let students and teachers connect to STEM professionals. By July 2019, there had been 5,314 views of the videos and virtual field trips.
Northrop Grumman estimates some 7,500 students have benefitted from the program from the 25 educators who participated. In addition, 127,575 students have engaged with video content since the launch in January 2018. The campaign effectiveness led to a second effort, EarthEcho Expedition: PlasticSeas, which brought 25 educators from Australia together to explore the consequences of plastics pollution.
Congratulations to Philippe Cousteau, Mia DeMezza, Stacey Rafalowski, Jim Trogdon, Jaclyn Gerakios, Sandra Evers-Manly, Carleen Beste, Stephanie Fitzsimmons and Jeni Johnson.