International charity launches teaching tools showcasing university marine research

Teachers and students across the world are able to use new online resources to learn more about the role sustainable fisheries can play in feeding the world’s growing population.

Following a recent visit to Plymouth last year, environmental charity EarthEcho International is launching a series of free teaching tools including videos, lesson plans and design challenges.

They include footage of researchers and facilities at the University of Plymouth, which was among the organisations to host the EarthEcho Expedition: What’s the Catch? in August 2019.

The five-day expedition united UK secondary school teachers with the charity’s founder Philippe Cousteau Jr, and they spent time with scientists working in the University’s School of Biological and Marine Sciences, and the Marine Institute.

This included a trip on the University’s fleet of marine vessels and a visit to the iconic Marine Station, where they learned about research on fisheries and the planktonic food webs that underpin global fish production.

The aim of the Expedition was to advance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education proficiency in teachers and is sponsored by the Northrop Grumman Foundation. All classroom materials were developed collaboratively and vetted by the participating secondary school teachers from across England who currently serve as EarthEcho Expedition Fellows.

Philippe Cousteau Jr said:

“The Expedition is designed to connect the dots for young problem solvers and emerging leaders between healthy ocean ecosystems and the food we put on the dinner table. Its online tools help students see how they can use scientific research to make a positive impact through the choices that they make in their daily lives. The Expedition also showcases the work of leading experts and other youth who are protecting fish stocks and developing innovative ways to ensure this resource will help to feed our growing population and support the health of our planet.”

The teaching tools include everything teachers need to convey the importance of healthy ocean ecosystems and fish populations, how our daily actions impact fish stocks far offshore and what students can do to help.

They were launched in conjunction with a virtual field trip to the Marine Station, hosted by Lecturer of Marine Biology Dr Benjamin Ciotti, which provided insights into fisheries research at the University.

Professor Richard Thompson OBE, Director of the University’s Marine Institute, said:

“Education is an absolutely key factor as we look to preserve and protect our oceans for future generations. It is something we pride ourselves on, alongside our world-leading research in fields such as marine conservation and sustainable fisheries. Working with EarthEcho International has given us a great opportunity to share our knowledge more widely and we hope these resources will inspire both teachers and students to think about the role they can play in conserving our oceans.”

Marine Institute

Representing 3000 staff, researchers and students, the University of Plymouth's Marine Institute is the first and largest such institute in the UK. 

We provide the external portal to our extensive pool of world-leading experts and state-of-the-art facilities, enabling us to understand the relationship between the way we live, the seas that surround us and the development of sustainable policy solutions.

Discover more about the Marine Institute