Thursday, April 23, 2020

Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience Program In PA Announces Award Winners

On April 23, the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience in PA Program announced it has recognized a high school student and eight other organizations for their outstanding support of and/or implementation of the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) Program. 
In their 2020 pilot year, the awards recognized three non-formal education partners (e.g., municipalities, nature centers, environmental education providers) and three PreK-12 formal educational institutions (e.g., schools or school districts) throughout Pennsylvania. 
Both awards are part of statewide watershed education capacity-building initiatives of the NOAA-funded Pennsylvania Environmental Literacy and MWEE Capacity-Building Project.
High School Student Designs Pennsylvania MWEE Logo!
The NOAA-funded PA Watershed Education Task Force is proud to unveil a new graphic logo that will be used statewide for MWEE programming, awards, certifications, and more! 
The graphic designer behind the logo is Caris Daneker. Caris is a junior at Conestoga Valley High School, one of three recipients of the 2020 MWEE School of Excellence Award. 
She has taken a variety of technology education classes, including Graphics and TV Studio, which aided her in her design process. 
When she is not studying for classes, Caris participates as a leader in Scouts BSA, Venture Crew, and National Youth Leadership Training. 
She is also an active member in National Honors Society, Tri-M Honors Music Society, Science National Honors Society, and Technology Student Association. 
You can also find her on the field playing lacrosse as a goalie. Caris loves finding new ways to get involved in her school and community.
2020 MWEE School of Excellence Awards
-- Carmichaels Area Middle & Senior High School: Carmichaels Area Middle and Senior High School in Greene County is recognized for their outstanding MWEE implementation in western Pennsylvania through their “Habitat Restoration at the Ferncliff Peninsula at Ohiopyle State Park” programming. 
In partnership with the California University of Pennsylvania, Ohiopyle State Park, Chestnut Ridge Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and PA Fish and Boat Commission, and with funding from the Greene County Community Foundation EITC, Toyota Tapestry, Pennsylvania American Water, and Project Learning Tree, 6th-12th grade students participate in hands-on, investigative watershed education activities built around the Youghiogheny (Yough) River. 
-- Halifax Middle School: Halifax Middle School, Dauphin County, is recognized for their outstanding MWEE implementation in central Pennsylvania through their “Halifax Middle School Environmental Field Day” programming. 
Located in a rural farming community, the school has a demonstrated commitment to creatively engaging students in hands-on career exposure and watershed education. 
Following several single-day student field experiences with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation seventh-grade students were inspired to share their field experiences school-wide. 
By the fall of 2017, students and 7th-grade science teacher Jessica McGuire collaboratively planned and led the first Halifax Middle School Environmental Field Day in partnership with environmental professionals from across the mid-state region. ​
-- Conestoga Valley High School: Conestoga Valley High School, Lancaster County, is recognized for their outstanding MWEE implementation in eastern Pennsylvania through their “CV Recycles” programming. 
With efforts led by assistant principal Dr. Matt Fox and science and technology education department teachers Mrs. Kerrie Snavely and Mr. Tom Care, CVHS students formed a “CV Green Team” to improve on-campus recycling, in addition to constructing a 6-foot tall environmental art and awareness sculpture on school property. 
The story begins with Freshwater Biology students, who identify issues in the local watershed during year-round MWEE programming. 
2020 MWEE Partner of Excellence Awards
-- Little Sewickley Creek Watershed Association: Little Sewickley Creek Watershed Association, Westmoreland County, is recognized for their outstanding MWEE partnership with Quaker Valley High School in western Pennsylvania through the “Amphibian Wetland Restoration Project.” 
The partnership dates back to 2009, when LSCWA began their ongoing sponsorship of the QV Creekers High School Environmental Science Internship program, a two-year appointment that allows high school students to work alongside environmental professionals to biologically and chemically monitor the health of the Little Sewickley Creek watershed. 
-- Fairmount Water Works: Fairmount Water Works, Philadelphia, is recognized for their outstanding MWEE partnership with the School District of Philadelphia in eastern Pennsylvania through the “Understanding the Urban Watershed Curriculum Project.” 
The project was launched in 2014 with generous support from the William Penn Foundation. 
Since opening in 2003 as the education center for the Philadelphia Water Department, FWW has become a hub for STEAM and environmental education, scientific research, and community engagement. 
The partner is uniquely positioned to serve teachers and schools equitably throughout Philadelphia’s urban watershed, connecting each school with locally relevant watershed projects in and around their neighborhoods. 
-- Lackawanna and Nescopeck State Parks: Lackawanna State Park, Lackawanna County, and Nescopeck State Park, Luzerne County, are recognized for their outstanding MWEE partnership with 16 high schools representing thirteen school districts in eastern Pennsylvania through their “Community Connections to Our Watershed” Environmental Forum program. 
Since 2000, the two parks have collaboratively engaged 2,000 9th-12th grade students in MWEEs while utilizing the DCNR-Bureau of State Park's Watershed Education curricula as a guide. 
From the local ridges of the watershed divides to the valley floors, teams of five students and their advisor participate in seven outdoor field experiences throughout the school year with hands-on investigations and citizen science opportunities in the Susquehanna River and Delaware River watersheds.
MWEEs are learner-centered experiences that focus on student investigations into local environmental issues that lead to informed action and civic engagement. 
[Posted: April 23, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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