May 29, 2018

Check Out the Duo Combining Innovation and Ocean Sustainability

Check Out the Duo Combining Innovation and Ocean Sustainability

Underwater Kiwi cameraman Steve Hathaway and his 17 year old daughter, Riley, are using innovation to save our oceans.

Their website Young Ocean Explorers (YOE) wants kids to love the ocean so they will take care of it. With a series of short and snappy videos led by Riley, they discuss everything from the journey of a piece of plastic to why orcas get beached.

History of YOE

Five years ago, Riley told her Dad saying she wanted to create a show about turtles and plastic.

“It was an amazing coincidence: it happened to be the very first day I ever shot plastic in the ocean.” – Steve

The lightbulb moment came when Steve got Riley to present her action plan to her 10-year-old brother’s class. The kids’ eyes were awestruck, their eyes wide open, fascinated with the topic as presented by a peer.

“Encouraging others to think outside the box for ideas and ways to help save the ocean is one of my biggest passions!” – Riley

The duo created 20 short episodes for Kids TV on a range of marine topics before launching the innovative YOE platform in October 2017.

Innovation and Ocean Sustainability

Steve and Riley want to reach kids, which is a struggle when kids no longer watch TV, instead watching short videos on their phones and laptops. So they targeted teachers, creating a website that teachers could use in the classroom to engage students and teach them all about the marine world.

Here are three of the most innovative parts of the YOE platform:

1) Developed with students and teachers in mind

Collaborating with their clever team, they thought about how people view content today to create a site that students can easily navigate, offering plenty of cool and concise videos to keep them interested.

2) Handy Teachers/Parents page

The site has tools for teachers and parents to easily create their own assignments.

"Our aim is for every intermediate and primary classroom in NZ to be using the site." – Steve

3) Riley the presenter

The most effective innovation was to use Riley – a fellow student – as the presenter, talking to students on their own level.

“As communicators, we try to think of creative ways to help raise awareness and encourage people to love the ocean. The more the message of ocean sustainability gets out there, the more people will become aware and hopefully do something about it.” – Riley

The New 1 + A Day Campaign

YOE’s most recent campaign challenges students across NZ to pick up at least one piece of rubbish from our communities every day.

“Yes it’s great to pick up rubbish off the beaches, but if we clean our communities first, the trash won’t be making its way to the sea in the first place.” – Steve  
​"The world is rapidly changing and we need to be flexible and creative in the way we think and do things. I try to encourage others to be innovative by sharing their stories of how they are making a difference. 1+A Day was an idea from two primary students and we intentionally turned it into a national campaign to show that we all have great ideas – we just need to do something about them!” – Riley

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