AXA XL, the global (re)insurer has a decades-long track record in supporting a deeper understanding of the ocean. As part of its commitment to sustainability and the environment, AXA XL has supported ocean education since 2009.

AXA Ocean Education began as an education outreach initiative working with AXA XL’s funded ocean science expeditions. Since then, it has become a fully-fledged program, with an estimated reach of over 8 million students worldwide.

This leadership position in marine learning has been achieved by providing teachers with award-winning resources, training, and live education events to ignite student curiosity. The program is designed and run by Encounter Edu.

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Sampling in the Kongsfjord, Svalbard

Why the ocean?

With 72% of the earth covered by the ocean, we’re more Planet Ocean than Planet Earth. Yet, we are only just coming to grips with the vital role oceans play in human lives. The statistics are amazing. The oceans:

  • provide 66% of the oxygen that we breathe;
  • represent 95% of the living space on the planet;
  • and are the #1 source of protein for over 1 billion people.

Equally great is the damage human activity is wreaking on the diverse life-supporting ecosystem:

  • 90% of big fish such as tuna, swordfish, and sharks have gone;
  • ocean acidity has increased by 30% since 1750;
  • and an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the world's oceans are threatening marine life.

To understand the human impact and young people become effective decision-makers, AXA XL is the proud sponsor of research and education programs that are exploring changes to our planet's oceans.

Since 2011, AXA Ocean Education has been bringing together findings from the Catlin Arctic Survey, the XL Catlin Seaview Survey and the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey in award-winning online learning materials for teachers and students. What started off as a one-off initiative, has turned into a response setting a legacy for the future.

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AXA Ocean Education Teacher Resources
Ocean education

AXA Ocean Education resources are standards-aligned, allowing teachers to deliver the curriculum at the same time as introducing students to this vital ecosystem and topic.

AXA Ocean Education teacher resources include four themes. Our Ocean Planet is a set of lessons providing a base level of ocean learning for primary schools. Frozen Oceans introduces students to the importance and fragility of the Arctic, and is based on the work of the Catlin Arctic Surveys. Coral Oceans brings the reef to life in the classroom using extraordinary virtual reality imagery and research from the XL Catlin Seaview Survey. Submarine STEM investigates the forces and materials choices involved in deep ocean exploration based on the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey with the Nekton Mission.

Each resource includes lesson plans, activity sheets, and support materials such as videos, galleries and 360VR content. This resources are complemented by a series of live-streamed education events from remote expeditions and research stations – Arctic Live, Coral Live and Submarine Live.

This innovative way of connecting student to the world has grown in impact. To date, AXA Ocean Education has reached over 10 million students in 96 countries.