In order to make classroom experiences successful in interesting youth in STEM careers, students must be able to view the content as personally meaningful and connect it to real-world concerns. Developing a sense of purpose may increase students’ motivation to learn by helping them to see how the knowledge they gain in school will be useful in the future to make an impact in the community. Lia Falco, in partnership with Arizona Project WET, is studying the effects of receiving AquaSTEM curriculum on middle school students’ sense of purpose and their interest in STEM careers. Arizona Project WET has a mission to develop water stewardship and STEM literacy in K-12 settings. By teaching content and skill while incorporating values and changing behaviors, it may be found that there is a greater sense of purpose which could compel one toward a STEM career. This project is supported by Smith Endowment funds.