We are extremely excited to share with our supporters Headwater Science Institute’s 2021 Annual Report. It’s a snapshot of another challenging, yet rewarding, year — one that we’re very proud of and eager to highlight some of our biggest accomplishments.
You can read the full report here. But here are some of the highlights:
Another year of transition
It was a year of transition for Headwaters Science Institute in 2021 — a coupling of the pandemic-related adjustments made in 2020 with a hybrid version bringing together virtual learning with the return of in-person programs.
Now, students can virtually join programs such as the Research Experience from anywhere in the country, while students in our backyard of Northern California can opt for in-person programs and camps. We also went from eliminating virtually all in-person learning in 2020 to resuming hands-on learning last summer with summer camps, Fall Field Days, and San Francisco University High School and Sacramento Country Day School field days.
Reemergence of in-person learning
The reemergence of in-person learning has allowed us to hit the ground running in 2022. We already have multiple field day programs under our belt with more to come, and our summer camps will grow from seven weeks spread over two camps offered last year to 11 planned weeks in four camps for 2022.
Programs instructor MaryEllen Bernier spearheaded some of those adjustments, learning to teach science programs in front of a camera. But she, like all of us, was glad to welcome students back into the field for hands-on learning.
”Once again, I got to see smiles and giggles from the kids,” she said. “I could see how the kids were craving moving and exploring outside. It was a boost for my enthusiasm for exploring the natural world.”
Our team is expanding
Through it all, the heart of our mission to increase access to student-driven science research and ultimately fostering curiosity through science education remains the same.
There was also a hidden benefit to pandemic restrictions: the revenue surplus gained from saved expenses stemming from in-person learning allowed Headwaters to expand its team. Overall, we hired three new employees in 2021, including two in programming and a communications manager. Jennifer, a science content specialist and educator; Beth Fitzpatrick, a Ph.D. candidate, and educator; and Dan Itel, a former news journalist and current marketing specialist, all joined Headwaters in the second half of the year. We’ve already been extremely pleased and impressed with their contributions made and look forward to seeing how they shape our organization into the future.
We want to thank and praise educators and nonprofit stakeholders, in our community and nationwide, for their tireless efforts and continued support during another challenging year. We also deeply appreciate our volunteer board members, the teachers who have continued to use our lessons. And to our financial supporters: Every dollar donated and every like and share of our digital content made a huge difference.
We could not do this work without your support, we are thankful to each and every one of you for selflessly helping students across the country.