Three Winning Youth Teams Announced for the OurEcho Biodiversity Challenge

Philippe Cousteau Jr’s EarthEcho International Announces the Three Winning Youth Teams in the OurEcho Biodiversity Challenge

Washington, DC (August 7, 2020) A new group of environmental champions are stepping forward to take action for the health of our planet! EarthEcho International and Aramco today announced the three middle school teams selected as the grand prize winners of the OurEcho Challenge. The winning teams were part of the new competition that equips U.S. middle school students to tackle the decline in biodiversity by proposing solutions to support robust ecosystems at a community level. 

“EarthEcho applauds all of the finalist teams who demonstrated dedication, passion and drive in finding actionable solutions to support critical native wildlife and habitats,” said EarthEcho founder Philippe Cousteau. “Our grand prize winners impressed the judges with their ingenuity and grasp of the complex issues that they chose to address. We are inspired and energized by their vision for a brighter future.”

The OurEcho Challenge, made possible through Aramco, supports three grand prize winners that were selected from 10 finalist teams competing for $10,000, $5,000 and $2,000 grants to further the work of their projects to protect and restore biodiversity. 

The OurEcho Challenge winning teams are as follows:

  • $10,000 Grand Prize Winner 

TEAM CRAYFISH; Medea Creek Middle School; Oak Park, CA

Team Members - Pasha Heydari, Cheng Ning, Benjamin Rassibi

Mentor - Katie Wilsker, Science Teacher

  • $5,000 Grand Prize Winner 

TEAM SUPER PLANTS; Proof School; San Francisco, CA

Team Members - Harper Fortgang, Lucia Greenhouse, Parley Marvit

Mentor – Dr. Michael Yetman, Biology & Neuroscience Teacher

  • $2,000 Grand Prize Winner 

TEAM AQUABOTICS; Bednarcik Jr. High School; Aurora, IL

Team Member - Jensen Coonradt

Mentor - Laurel Coonradt

Team Crayfish, Team Super Plants and Team Aquabotics were selected after presenting their projects virtually in front of hundreds of attendees from 44 countries and territories during the 5th Annual EarthEcho Youth Leadership Summit on August 6. A panel of judges comprised of youth, environmental and corporate leaders, engineers, scientists, educators and celebrity advocates reviewed presentations from 10 finalist teams and selected the three grand prize winners based on the following criteria:

  • INSPIRATION – How well the entry draws from local community issues or resources as evidenced by personal experiences and local connection.
  • SCIENTIFIC RIGOR - The use of evidence and scientific research to select the target issue to ensure the action plan adheres to the scientific method and, as appropriate, incorporates good engineering design process.
  • FEASIBILITY - The students’ understanding of how realistic or “doable” their solution is to implement. The project addresses the resources required and the complexity of their solution, giving consideration to timeline, scalability, costs, cultural and social responses.

For more information and updates about the OurEcho Challenge, visit or  follow us on Facebook: Twitter: and Instagram:

For more information about program sponsor Aramco, visit