Exploring a Water Centric City

How might students find their place and purpose in a Water Centric City?


Milwaukee promotes itself as a Water Centric City. What does that mean to students? How might they explore the ways water, and those whose careers, passions, or interests intersect with water impact how the city has and will continue to develop. We offer the following challenge to students:

  • Immerse yourself in how water has shaped Milwaukee and the water related issues Milwaukee confronts.
  • Meet some of the people working on these issues
  • Develop the story of how one of those issues impact you, your peers, or others at school
  • Design a response, or intervention to drive a positive change
  • Make the case to gain the support you need to bring your idea to life
Bonus for high school teachers:

Provide your students with the opportunity to be a mentor for lower grade students participating in the field experience in late April 2024. Your students may complete the science portion of the project this semester. Then, in January 2024, review the student activities for the Milwaukee Waters Investigation, prepare to teach both teachers and lower grade students the activities and act as the lead for one of the activities for the MWI field exprience.


Participating teachers will have full access to the Community Engaged PBL Framework materials for this challenge. Teachers will have the flexibility to adjust how it is implemented to respond to opportunities and constraints at their school. They will also benefit from the experience of other participating teachers through regular check-ins, and events involving multiple schools.


Learn Deep will:

  • Work with participating teachers to talk through implementation and identify specific needs they have to work within curriculum and schedule requirements at their school as well as address specific goals they have for involvement with the project.
  • Recruit outside reviewers for problem story, and intervention design
  • Create opportunities to collaborate with students from other participating schools
  • Organize Field experiences with program partners
  • Coordinate a year end review and project pitch event
  • Offer a virtual platform (inspirEd) for check-in meetings and on-line collaboration with participating teachers.

Timing & Deliverables

Fall Semester:

  • Explore issues around water in Milwaukee and people working to address them
  • Identify an area of focus, and share the story of the opportunity that creates
  • Opportunity and story review

Spring Semester

  • Response design and feedback
  • Presentation of design proposals and pitch


Participation is open to middle and high schools within Milwaukee County. Limited to 8 schools and no more than 200 students.

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