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Updated Guide for Educators on Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences

November 17, 2022

The guide, first developed for the Chesapeake Bay, is updated and relevant for educators across the country.

Six students balance on rocks in a creek Students explore their local creek as part of a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience. Photo by Rocío Lozano-Knowlton.

NOAA has published an updated guide that helps educators design Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences for students. The new Educator’s Guide to the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) features tools, worksheets, and information to help educators ensure that their MWEEs are successful. When done thoroughly and thoughtfully, MWEEs increase student environmental literacy.  

The new Educators’ Guide was originally intended for educators in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. It has been updated with new content and is relevant for all educators, no matter which watershed they live in.

The MWEE is an educational framework that supports students as they investigate local environmental issues. MWEEs lead to students being able to take informed action throughout their lives. They include both classroom and outdoor education. And they actively engage students through hands-on experiences. 

The guide describes the four essential elements of a MWEE: 

  • Issue definition
  • Outdoor field experiences
  • Synthesis and conclusions
  • Environmental action projects

Successful MWEEs are also supported by teacher facilitation, learning integration, local context, and sustained experience. Each of these practices are also described in the Educator’s Guide. The book also includes handy student worksheets and improved planning tools for educators. 

Last updated by NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office on November 17, 2022