Preservice Teacher MWEE

Model My Watershed Lesson

Millersville University continues to prepare the next generation of teachers by training them on how to use meaningful watershed educational experiences (MWEE) in the classroom. This past fall, Dr. Abdul Ibrahim integrated Environmental Education and MWEEs into his Instructional Technology in Elementary Education course, EDFN 320, which helps students explore technology applications in the classroom. The highlight of his course involved his students visiting Penn Manor’s 4th-grade classrooms.  These Elementary Education majors helped teachers implement their MWEE curriculum and prepare the 4th graders for their action project. The action project for Penn Manor aims to improve their portion of Lancaster’s watershed.

Dr. Ibrahim utilized a MWEE for the MWEE unit in his EDFN 320 course. However, his action project is slightly different from his Penn Manor elementary school neighbors. The action project in EDFN 320 is to have his students help educate the 4th graders about their local watershed through a preserve teacher-led lesson.

Issue Definition

The issue definition typically outlines what environmental issue the class focuses on. Dr. Ibrahim’s issue focused on defining what elementary students need to know about watersheds and their local water quality.  He spent class time with his students preparing them to lead lessons effectively and utilize learning aids.

Outdoor Field Experiences

Hands-on science activities are essential for elementary school students to develop an interest in the sciences as well as build on prior information.  Similarly, spending time in elementary classrooms is a crucial experience for preservice teachers. Throughout the MWEE units, EDFN 320 students had several opportunities to travel to Penn Manor Elementary. Preservice teachers worked alongside the 4th graders in the classroom setting and outside.

As part of Hambright and Eshelmen Elementary schools’ MWEE, the 4th grade takes a field trip to Stroud Water Research Center. In preparation for this field trip, MU students visited Hambright Elementary school for two consecutive days to help facilitate student learning and prepare the 4th grade for their field trip. Providing the 4th graders to demonstrate what they learned at Stroud preservice teachers revisited Hambright a month later to work with them again. Dr. Ibrahim’s students traveled with Hambright students and the teachers to Maple Grove Park to help the 4th graders test their local stream’s water quality.  Using water quality testing kits, students graded the health of their local stream.

Synthesis & Conclusions

Millersville preservice teachers continued to build their skills as they prepared to lead a final lesson for Hambright’s whole 4th grade. Building off the content preservice teachers help facilitate, their Action Project was to tie all the 4th grader’s experiences together by teaching a lesson using the Model My Watershed technology. Model My Watershed ( is an interactive website that allows the user to manipulate a map and investigate features of the desired area. They used class time to develop their lesson and work with the new technology. Dr. Nanette Marcum-Dietrich visited the EDFN 320 class to help train them on the Model My Watershed and apply information on conservation practices that would be best for the desired area. This final lesson was important for both MU students and Hambright students as it encompassed all they had learned throughout the Fall.

Stewardship & Civic Action

The Model My Watershed lesson focused on Millersville preservice teachers educating the 4th graders at Hambright on how to use the Model My Watershed website to minimize run-off and what conservation practices can be best implemented for their watersheds needs. Using what they have been learning for the past month, MU students helped the Hambright students decide what action they can take to improve the health of their local watershed. This experience will help the 4th graders with their Action Project in the Spring.

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