Integrating NOAA Science into Classrooms

About the NOAA-21st CCLC Watershed STEM Education Partnership Program

Projects funded by NAAEE for this NOAA–21st CCLC collaboration focus on delivering Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) to the high-need audiences served by the 21st CCLC program. These activities emphasize STEM skills, address 21st CCLC program objectives, engage students and staff in hands-on environmental education opportunities that take place both outdoors and indoors, and help meet the student learning and staff capacity-building needs of 21st CCLC program sites. Funded projects will be announced in Summer 2020. For more information on the current competition, please visit the NAAEE website here:

NOAA Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs)

NOAA's Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program funds locally relevant, authentic experiential learning for K-12 audiences through Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs). MWEEs are learner-centered activities that focus on investigations into local environmental issues leading to informed action. They are composed of multi‐stage activities that include learning both in and out of the classroom and aim to build an understanding of watershed concepts and the connection between human activity and the environment. NOAA funding is provided to support student investigation of environmental topics both locally and globally that are of interest to them, leveraging local STEM assets and STEM professionals. Students identify actions to address these issues and understand the value of those actions, enabling them to help to understand, protect, and restore watersheds and related ecosystems.

MWEE Resources

Anticipated Program Outcomes

21st CCLC students will:

  • improve STEM skills
  • gain awareness of applications and relevance of STEM to their own lives and communities
  • be more engaged and enthusiastic about learning
  • gain the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and motivations to protect and restore watersheds
  • meet new people and explore new places in their communities
  • have opportunities to spend time learning outside
  • gain self-esteem and confidence to address community issues

21st CCLC site staff will:

  • learn more about watershed conservation and the importance of environmental education in advancing environmental literacy
  • have skills and confidence to incorporate environmental education into out-of-school programming (e.g., confidence to teach outdoors)
  • be aware of relevant NOAA resources to enhance student experiences
  • increase skills and capacity to form and maintain effective partnerships with environmental education providers and other local partners

About the Program Partners

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an agency that enriches life through science. From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product. NOAA’s dedicated scientists use cutting-edge research and high-tech instrumentation to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers and other decision makers with reliable information they need when they need it.

The NOAA Office of Education and NAAEE have a 5-year partnership in place to increase environmental and science literacy among NOAA’s partners and external networks. Through this partnership, NOAA and NAAEE aim to create a more environmentally literate society that has the knowledge, skills, and motivation to conserve our natural resources and build more resilient communities across the country. NAAEE helps NOAA strengthen professional networks, disseminate best practices, support high-quality STEM education, and provide education and outreach for educators and other target audiences.

North American Association for Environmental Education

For more than four decades, the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) has served as the professional association, champion, and backbone organization for the field of environmental education (EE), working with a diverse group of EE professionals in the United States, Canada, and Mexico to advance environmental literacy and civic engagement. NAAEE is the only national membership organization dedicated to strengthening EE and increasing the visibility and effectiveness of the field. With more than 20,000 members and supporters, including affiliations with 56 state and provincial EE organizations and members in more than 30 countries, NAAEE reaches more than a million people through programs aimed at providing the field with professional development, access to learning networks and collaborative partnerships, tools and resources to promote effective practice, and leadership and capacity building. NAAEE is also involved in a number of field-building activities and signature programs, including the Natural Start Alliance to advance environmental education in early childhood, an international E-STEM initiative to link environmental education and STEM learning, and the Global Environmental Education Partnership—a global network dedicated to building capacity at the country level (see For more information on NAAEE, visit:

U.S. Department of Education 21st CCLC Program

The 21st Century Community Learning Center program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. The program helps students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.