Middle school teachers study SoCal water scarcity compliments of EarthEcho and Northrop Grumman

Twenty-six middle school teachers from throughout the U.S. have been selected to explore water scarcity in southern California. EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design is led by explorer and environmental advocate Philippe Cousteau, Jr. through the support of the Northrop Grumman Foundation.

“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.”

Water by Design is part of EarthEcho Expeditions, an annual program dedicated to bringing alive exploration and discovery for STEM education for 21st Century learners and their educators as part of the Cousteau legacy. Participating educators, known as EarthEcho Expedition Fellows, will have the opportunity to learn firsthand scientists and engineers in Southern California. Fellows will study issues of water management and scarcity on both human health and development as well as the natural coastal and ocean systems as they relate to the impacts of Southern California’s ongoing drought during the Oct. 23 to 27 program.

Expedition Fellows will experience on-site production of video resources and participate in collaborative curriculum development of adventure-based STEM learning modules. These modules are designed to introduce students worldwide to innovative solutions being developed and implemented to conserve water resources. The modules created by the 2017 EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design Fellows will be distributed worldwide in 2018 to middle schools at no charge.

The extensive Water by Design curriculum will explore a broad range of water-related issues and solutions including: exploration of the water supply that provides water for the more than 10 million Los Angelinos through the L.A. Department of Water & Power; a site visit to one of the largest aquaponics farms in the U.S. to learn how this unique farming practice can reduce water consumption; examination of the technology used to predict water resource availability with NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory and Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and, learning the process of desalinization at the West Basin Water Education Center by exploring how to safely and effectively use ocean water to supplement the regional water supply.

EarthEcho Expeditions: Water by Design is made possible through the generous support of the Northrop Grumman Foundation and the experts, resources and one-of-a kind educator experiences provided by 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.

Twenty of the 26 EarthEcho Expeditions Fellows are from Central and Southern California middle schools; the other Fellows represent schools in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York and Ohio. The participating Fellows have been selected from hundreds of applications nationwide with a shared passion for STEM educations. The middle schools they represent range from 5th to 8th grades.

“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 of 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.”

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