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Millersville University of Pennsylvania (MU), Virginia Wesleyan University (VWU), Penn Manor School District and Norfolk Collegiate School propose to create an upstream, downstream collaborative for the systemic implementation of Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEE) in elementary schools that focuses on protecting our shared watershed. This project highlights this shared responsibility by bringing together schools in central PA (upstream) and coastal VA (downstream) to learn about local watershed issues and how students’ local actions impact the overall health of the watershed. The health and future of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed depends on this generation of students cultivating a connection to local waters and an understanding of the impact their choices have on the larger watershed, as they learn to be good watershed neighbors. This collaborative project geographically spans the Chesapeake Bay Watershed; systemically impacting students through teacher professional development and classroom MWEE implementation, while simultaneously training the next generation of teachers by embedding MWEE instruction into undergraduate teacher education programs at MU and VWU. The Shared Waters project embeds MWEE professional development training and classroom implementation into existing University-School partnerships where teacher candidates (undergraduate teacher education students) work alongside classroom teachers in the implementation of the MWEE in the elementary classroom; this approach ensures the long-term sustainability of the project and its ability to institutionalize MWEEs at both the K-12 and university levels.   

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed spans 64,000 squares miles. Over half of Virginia’s (VA) streams and rivers flow to the Bay and more than half of Pennsylvania’s (PA) land area lies within the watershed with approximately 50% of the Bay’s inflows passing through PA. Protecting the Chesapeake Bay Watershed is a shared responsibility. This project highlights this shared responsibility by bringing together schools in central PA (upstream) and coastal VA (downstream) to learn about local watershed issues and how students’ local actions impact the overall health of the watershed. The health and future of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed depends on this generation of students cultivating a connection to local waters and an understanding of the impact their choices have on local waters and on the larger watershed, as they learn to be good watershed neighbors. 

Millersville University (MU), Virginia Wesleyan University (VWU), Penn Manor School District and Norfolk Collegiate School propose to collaborate on the systemic implementation of a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEE) in elementary school. Neither Penn Manor School District nor Norfolk Collegiate School have been past recipients of B-WET funds. Protecting our shared watershed is the theme of this upstream, downstream collaborative. This collaborative project geographically spans the Chesapeake Bay Watershed; systemically impacting students through teacher professional development and classroom MWEE implementation, while simultaneously training the next generation of teachers (referred to as “teacher candidates”) by embedding MWEE instruction into existing undergraduate teacher education courses and field experiences in the partner schools.  

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