Headwaters Science Institute

Fostering curiosity through science education

What’s New

Students Explore the Importance of Water

The importance of water should never be understated! It is a vital component of all life-sustaining processes and integral to chemical reactions. The human body is made of up nearly 60-70% water by body weight, with a decrease of 4% causing dehydration and losses of...

Creating Opportunities for Science Education Outside of the Classroom

We developed the Headwaters Research Experience to supplement what students learn in school and to enrich science education, inspire curiosity through student-led research, address the wealth inequality of education, and prepare students for the future.

It’s Fun To Do Science in the Fresh Air

Introduction to Research CampHeadwaters hosted an introduction to research camp at the Clair Tappaan Lodge at Donner Summit last week for 18 students. Students thoroughly enjoyed their 3-day, 2-night field camp - as one said, “It’s fun to do science in the fresh air!”...

A Summer of Fun: Campers Enjoy Summer Camps

Headwaters Science Institute had an amazing summer of camps! We hosted day camps at three separate locations: Carpenter Valley, Serene Lakes, and Kirkwood. At each week-long camp, campers investigated a research question related to the week’s theme. The weekly themes...

Hiking and science in the Sierra Nevada: Headwaters executive director shares her family’s summer adventures

Headwaters Science Institute Executive Director Meg Siefert shares the experiences of her family’s adventures this summer hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains and how they integrated science inquiry into their fun.

 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

Apart from the free survey software, we also have access to QuestionPro’s free survey templates. We’ve found many of them useful and powerful to collect insights from various stakeholders of our organization.

 More Ways to Get Involved