Headwaters Science Institute

Fostering curiosity through science education

What’s New

‘This was an amazing learning experience’: Spring field days show value of hands-on science research

Headwaters Science Institute’s spring 2022 programing has featured field days with hundreds of students learning hands-on science research in the field in locations such as the American River, Truckee forests and the Marin Headlands.

‘They’re more excited, they’re more engaged’: BDOG highlights programs in underserved communities

Headwaters Science Institute is fundraising to keep programs free for underserved Sacramento-area schools during Big Day of Giving on May 5. Here’s how it has impacted Barrett Middle School.

‘It’s incredibly exciting to see’: Spring Research Experience students present their projects

Headwaters Science Institute celebrated the completion of the Spring Research Experience on Monday as four students presented their original research projects in a live broadcast.

Introducing the new ‘Lunch With A Scientist’ episode library

Headwaters Science Institute nonprofit science education organization introduces its new searchable library for “Lunch With A Scientist” YouTube episodes and associated NGSS-aligned student investigation activities.

Another year of transition: Headwaters’ 2021 annual report is out

Headwaters Science Institute releases its 2021 Annual Report.

 Who We Are

We are educators, scientists, and community members with a mission to foster curiosity through science. We engage students’ natural curiosity, guiding them to design and perform experiments that answer their own questions through the scientific method. We call this process Student Driven Research.

What We Do

We aim to create informed citizens who not only pursue science careers, but blossom when faced with opportunities to positively impact society through engagement, curiosity, and applications of the scientific method. To do this, we teach programs for science classes at schools, at our northern California field site, and online

For Students & Parents:

Online Learning

Staying active through learning online is vital while traditional schools are closed. Experience the same hands-on techniques we teach in person through virtual science lessons.

About Our Programs

We teach students the scientific method through hands-on learning at schools and at our field site in Northern California.

Science Camps

To address the challenges of COVID-19, we offer immersive opportunites to learn science, mentored by professional scientists through online programs that are doable from home. 

For Educators:

Online and Hybrid Programs

To meet the challenges of COVID-19, we offer programs based around hands-on learning that still inspire curiosity but are delivered entirely online, or as a partial-online format.

Program Overview

Our programs teach the scientific method through a hands-on approach that’s based on student inquiry, and designed to meet NGSS standards. 

Overnight Programs

An immersive 3-5 day experience on Donner Summit in Northern California. Students learn science by designing their own research projects and collecting data in the field.

At School Programs

Programs at your school or at a nearby field site allow students to experience real-world examples of science concepts, while learning how to design their own research project.

Professional Development

Our commitment to learning extends to teachers. We provide hands-on training on our Student Driven Research methods to educators to allow them to continue teaching these concepts.

 “This camp sparked an interest in science in me that I have never felt in my life.”

“I can’t put it into words how thankful I am for being sponsored to go to the Headwaters Girls Science Camp. At this camp, I learned how science is everywhere, even when you don’t suspect it. I also learned how important it is to increase the number of women in the science fields and the impact that women have in science. This camp has really opened my eyes to the science fields and has helped me realized that science can play a big role in selecting my career.”

Ashley Alarcon, Girls Summer Science Camp Scholarship Recipient 2019

We used to conduct paper surveys to collect data in rural areas with limited internet connectivity. Thanks to QuestionPro’s offline mobile app, collecting offline data is a piece of cake now, especially when you don’t have to deal with paperwork anymore.

 More Ways to Get Involved