Matagorda Bay B-WET
What is Matagorda Bay B-WET?
It is a professional development opportunity for teachers funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Bay Watershed and Education Training (B-WET) program : https://www.noaa.gov/office-education/bwet . The purpose is to support locally relevant, authentic experiential learning through meaningful watershed educational experiences, which include learning in the outdoors and in the classroom to increase understanding and stewardship of watersheds and related ecosystems. It is being offered by the Matagorda Bay Foundation https://matbay.org/ and Baylor University’s Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research https://www.baylor.edu/crasr/ .
Who should apply?
Matagorda Bay B-WET is open to Texas teachers in coastal counties with watersheds connected to or near the Matagorda Bay. We are currently working with High School teachers and will be working with middle school teachers in the future. It is great for Agricultural Science and Science classes. Studying watersheds can be multi-disciplinary and teachers outside of science are welcome to apply.
How will standards be supported?
B-WET projects are meant to support standards that teachers are already required to teach and be fully integrated in the curriculum (rather than be “something extra I have to do”). The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills that can be supported by meaningful watershed educational experiences vary depending on the class- in Chemistry, it might be an investigation of what factors affect pH in the local watershed, in Biology it might be the role of microorganisms in the health of aquatic ecosystems- the possibilities are nearly endless. Meaningful watershed education experiences include classroom and outdoors components, and the outdoor components could be on school grounds or further afield.
What is the time commitment for teachers?
2 hours per week or less completing on-line activities beginning in January 2021, a three-day workshop on the Texas coast in June 2021, and then implementation of the meaningful watershed experience with their class(es) during the 2021-2022 school year.
Important dates and details for the Matagorda Bay B-WET Project
- December 11, 2020: Deadline to apply at https://www.baylor.edu/crasr/index.php?id=974626. Application takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
- December 18, 2020: Teachers notified of acceptance status.
- January 2021: On-line (asynchronous=on your own time) professional development begins. Less than 2 hours per week to complete. 30 hours of CPE credit available. Certificate given.
- June 2021: Field workshop, Palacios TX. Currently set for June 16-18 but dates may be adjusted if needed to accommodate accepted teachers school calendars. Scheduled to be in-person, will be adjusted if needed to accommodate COVID19 at that time. $200 teacher participation stipend. 20 hours of CPE credit. Certificate given.
- School year 2021-2022: Implement meaningful watershed education experience. $500 support per teacher.