Millersville University recently received significant grant funding from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries to continue its watershed education training project and expand it to include other institutions in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The project, called Shared Waters: An Upstream-Downstream Collaborative, will be a joint effort of Millersville, Virgina Wesleyan University, Penn Manor School District and Norfolk Collegiate School.
The $400,000, three-year grant is set to make a huge impact on watershed education in Pennsylvania and Virginia. “The funds will support the training of teachers and MU elementary education students in the teaching of watershed issues in the elementary classroom,” explains Dr. Nanette Marcum-Dietrich a professor of science education and co-director of the Watershed Education Training Institute at Millersville. “The funds will also provide supplies for outdoor field exploration and the completion of an action project at the elementary school to improve the health of our local watershed.”
Over the course of three years, the team behind the project has plans to provide professional development training to 21 elementary teachers, create field experiences for 500 teacher candidates, educate more than 1,000 students on the impact of their local actions on watersheds, create shared educational resources and establish a formalized partnership between schools that institutionalizes Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences instruction in undergraduate teacher education.
“With this funding, we can infuse watershed education into our elementary education program, provide MU elementary education students with another field experience opportunity, strengthen our partnership with Penn Manor School District and enhance watershed education both at Penn Manor and across the Commonwealth as MU prepares the next generation of teachers to teach about local watershed issues,” explains Marcum-Dietrich.
A kickoff event for the project was held on Millersville’s campus at Creek Lodge on August 3. Dr. Ann Gaudino, an associate professor in educational foundations was among those who gave remarks.