A MWEE or Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience is an investigative or experimental project that engages students in thinking critically about the Bay watershed. MWEEs are not intended to be quick, one-day activities; rather, they are extensive projects that allow students to gain a deep understanding of the issue or topic being presented. Students participate in background research, hands-on activities and reflection periods that are appropriate for their ages and grade levels.
What are some examples of MWEEs?
- In the classroom, students have learned about the anatomy and physiology of blue crabs by researching the species and examining live blue crabs. Students then accompany researchers on trawl boats to see blue crab habitat firsthand.
- Many teachers have worked with their students to build wildlife habitats on school grounds, strengthening the connection between students and their environment. These habitats are then used to study a variety of environmental topics.
Curriculum used for a successful MWEE organized by the Hanover-Caroline SWCD was developed in conjunction with DEQ and is SOL aligned and can be found on the DEQ website at – Hanover-Caroline Soil & Water Conservation District MWEE.
- A Guide to Creating Meaningful Watershed Experiences: A guide for creating meaningful outdoor experiences from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
- Exploring the Chesapeake: Then and Now: Learn about the history of the Bay watershed and download lesson plan resources at this National Geographic site.
- Watershed Education Lessons: Lessons plans to teach about watershed education. These lesson plans were compiled by Martin Johnson of Thomas Jefferson SWCD.
If your SWCD would like additional information or support organizing a MWEE please contact Bonnie Mahl, VASWCD Education & Training Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-559-0324. Teachers with questions about implementing a MWEE are also encouraged to reach out to their local SWCD or VASWCD.