MWEE Case Studies
Ever wonder what a MWEE looks like in action? These case studies follow the trajectory of three MWEEs that explore similar driving questions but take place in different states across the watershed, including in rural, suburban, and urban areas, and at different grade levels. You’ll notice that some of the case studies have outdoor field experiences on their school grounds while others venture off-site. Some have support from partner organizations while others are entirely teacher-led. These case studies are meant to demonstrate that no two MWEEs are alike and its important to build on what already exists in your school or program.
Conestoga Valley High School
During this case study, Mrs. Snavley leads her Freshwater Biology students from Conestoga Valley High School in a series of investigations to consider the health of their local stream and what they can do improve water quality. During this video, students sample and measure water quality and use macro invertebrates to calculate the biotic index of their stream. Students synthesize their data in the classroom and make connections between best management practices for stormwater management and the health of rivers. As an action, they create model BMPs for homes and businesses in the community. Motivated by this experience, the students took an additional step to develop an installation on their school grounds to demonstrate Conestoga Valley High School’s commitment to the environment.
Lewisdale Elementary School
In the Lewisdale Elementary School case study, Mrs. Rouget aligns her MWEE with a number of science, math, and social studies standards as her students address the driving question of: how do the actions of humans impact the environment? Through a series of investigations on their schoolyard and at the community park, students consider how streams flow, where runoff goes, how pervious and impervious surfaces impact water quality, and what organisms might be affected by water quality. As an action, the class performs a clean-up at their community park, taking responsibility for spaces that they deem as important to their families and community.
James Wood Middle School
Teachers at James Wood Middle School partnered with the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley and Blandy Experimental Farm to support the outdoor field experiences and action project during this MWEE. Students studied principals of water, investigated pollution from agricultural areas and parking lots, and considered how a new construction project might impact sediment runoff. Students designed a solution to control the effects of the construction with a wildlife erosion-control garden using Virginia native plants. This is an example of a MWEE that was initially developed by a partner organization, Blandy Experimental Farm, in partnership with a school district. After extensive professional development and training, the MWEE is now fully embraced by teachers and is embedded into the district curriculum.