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 region, 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 it's important to build on what already exists in your school or program.

Conestoga Valley High School

Video by Walkabout Productions

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 to improve water quality. During this video, students sample and measure water quality and use macroinvertebrates to calculate the biotic index of their stream. Students synthesize their data in the classroom and make connections between best management practices (BMPs) 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

Video by Walkabout Productions

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

Video by Walkabout Productions

Ms. Byard and Ms. Reilly both teach science at James Wood Middle School and worked together to plan and implement a MWEE program focused on runoff. Students explored pollution sources in and around their schoolyard and tested the water quality. Students investigated how different types of surfaces and different types of plants may impact runoff and flooding. Learning that their neighbor, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, was going to build a new entrance near their school, students considered how the construction might impact runoff from the property. As an action, students created an erosion control garden to reduce the amount of sediment entering the new runoff route created by the museum’s entrance way.