The Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEE) framework is promoted across the Commonwealth by Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Pennsylvania Environmental Literacy/MWEE Capacity Building Task Force, and other organizations as the education approach of learner-centered experiences that focus on investigations into local environmental issues that lead to informed action and civic engagement.
A truly effective MWEE is place-based. It catapults students into environmental discovery, inquiry, and action in the story of their local community and watershed.
How do I learn more about the MWEE model for watershed education?
Become a MWEE Ambassador! To become a MWEE Ambassador in Pennsylvania, you must complete the MWEE 101 Online Course and a 6-hour workshop led by a Pennsylvania MWEE Facilitator.
How do I learn to implement MWEEs in my classroom or support schools in MWEEs from my environmental education organization?
Continue your MWEE training by attending additional/advanced workshops to learn how to organize and design activities and curricula following the MWEE framework. Advanced workshops offered across the state include
- a week-long summer professional development,
- an Act 45 course for school administrators,
- and in-depth workshops focusing on student voice, civic and environmental action projects, using the Environmental Literacy Model to plan your MWEE, and advanced knowledge and skills in watershed education.
How are exceptional MWEE efforts recognized and celebrated?
First awarded in 2020, Pennsylvania presents Pennsylvania MWEE Partner and School of Excellence Awards at the Pennsylvania Assocation of Environmental Education (PAEE) annual conference. Find out more about the criteria for the awards and apply at PAEE’s website.
Watershed Education Resources
- Chesapeake Bay Program partners have created the MWEE Guide, case study videos, and many other resources available on the Bay Backpack website.
- Pennsylvania’s Facilitator’s Guide to MWEE Training
Watershed Education Partners
Fairmount Water Works
Situated on the east bank of the Schuylkill River between historic Boat House Row and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Fairmount Water Works opened its doors in 1815 as the sole water pumping station for the City of Philadelphia and was decommissioned almost a century later, in 1909. In 2003, it was converted to a museum and environmental centerand has become the region’s premier urban environmental education destination.
Bay Backpack provides educators with the tools they need to support Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences, or MWEEs, for their students. Explore Bay Backpack for teaching resources, action projects, field experiences, and funding opportunities related to the Chesapeake Bay.
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR) – Bureau of State Parks
PA DCNR offers hundreds of programs throughout the year focused on water. They also offer inquiry-based field learning experiences for your students — all which address the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s academic standards.
- Water Education Resources
- The Watershed Education Program is an interdisciplinary curriculum designed by DCNR’s Bureau of State Parks for grades 6-12.
Pennsylvania Trout in the Classroom
Pennsylvania Trout In the Classroom is an interdisciplinary environmental education program in which students (grades 3-12) learn about current and past impacts, management, and protection and enhancement opportunities of Pennsylvania’s watersheds and coldwater resources, while raising trout in the classroom.
Stroud Water Research Center
Stroud Water Research Center’s Education Department interprets the research of their scientists. Programs are multidisciplinary and oriented to a wide audience. They hope that through exposure to our programs and information, people will be motivated to become responsible stewards of freshwater resources.
The Stroud Center’s WikiWatershed Toolkit is a web toolkit to support citizens, conservation practitioners, municipal decision-makers, researchers, educators, and students to collaboratively advance knowledge and stewardship of fresh water. The Toolkit includes Model My Watershed, Runoff Simulation, Monitor My Watershed, EnviroDIY, Leaf Pack Network, Macroinvertebrates.org, and the Water Quality Mobile App.
Pennsylvania Sea Grant
The Pennsylvania Sea Grant team of scientists, educators, and communicators builds bridges between science and people to promote the importance of maintaining sustainable coastal and river ecosystems for the health of local communities and families and to ensure a thriving economy.
Penn State Extension
Penn State Extension is a modern educational organization dedicated to delivering science-based information to people, businesses, and communities. Partnering with and funded by federal, state, and county governments, they have a long tradition of bringing unbiased support and education to the citizens of Pennsylvania.