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 multi‐stage activities that include learning both outdoors and in the classroom and aim to increase understanding and stewardship of watersheds and related ocean, coastal, riverine, estuarine, and Great Lakes ecosystems. 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 ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems.
Grant activities for this NOAA–21st CCLC collaboration focused on delivering components of MWEEs to the high-need audiences served by the 21st CCLC program. B-WET activities and associated training and program materials for the Watershed STEM Education Partnership Grant Awards 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. These activities promote student interest in the STEM fields and related careers, and meet the student learning and staff capacity-building needs of 21st CCLC program sites.
The B-WET program is primarily delivered through competitive funding that promotes Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs). MWEEs are multi-stage activities that include learning both outdoors and in the classroom, and aim to increase the environmental literacy of all participants. Teachers should support students to investigate global and local topics that are of interest to them, and learn about environmental issues and how to address them.