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Planning and Designing a MWEE

A MWEE is organized into three main phases:

  1. Students research and discuss a watershed issue or problem in preparation for the field component.
  2. Students take action by observing, measuring, or collecting data during their outdoor experience.
  3. Students return to the classroom, reflect upon and analyze their project, and reach conclusions.

To learn more about the process of designing and implementing a MWEE refer to A Guide to Creating Meaningful Watershed Experiences. Included is an example of a unit plan written and implemented by teachers at Forest Oak Middle School in Gaithersburg, Maryland. by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

To assess how well your proposed project meets the definition of "meaningful," The National Marine Sanctuaries developed a checklist based on a review of best practices in the research literature. The sources for each item on the checklist are provided in parentheses. You can view the checklist at