About Shared Waters

Shared Waters began as a NOAA B-WET grant involving Millersville University of Pennsylvania (MU), Virginia Wesleyan University (VWU), Penn Manor School District, and Norfolk Collegiate School. The project was an upstream-downstream partnership with the goal of systemically implementing Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEE) in elementary schools. These experiences aim to teach students about local watershed issues and how their actions impact the overall health of the watershed.

The project culminated in a comprehensive curriculum that was classroom-tested with nearly 1,000 elementary students. Shared Waters is spreading as it is enthusiastically embraced by teachers and administrators as a supported, class-ready curriculum that is engaging and impactful.

Map showing the locations of Millersville University and Virginia Wesleyan University.

Everything is already done for you. The lessons are fun, engaging, educational, and so valuable!
Ms. Orzolek, Pequea Elementary

Shared Waters offers a comprehensive curriculum specifically designed for elementary students in grades 3-6, aligned with NGSS and multiple state standards, with an emphasis on environmental literacy and sustainability. This curriculum includes 10 lessons, culminating in an action project, and covers topics such as understanding the water cycle and the concept of watersheds, conducting chemical analyses of natural water bodies, identifying aquatic macroinvertebrates as indicators of water quality, exploring the effects of human activities on watersheds, and developing and implementing action plans to address environmental issues. We plan to expand our offerings with middle and high school curricula in the near future to further support environmental education across all grade levels.

The program's goals are to enhance understanding of watershed science and the impact of human activities on water quality, foster a sense of responsibility and connection to local watersheds through community-based projects, and encourage students to develop and implement action plans to improve watershed health.