Professional Development


Helping teachers bring science alive for students

Our professional development workshops are unique. Instead of talking about theory, we let teachers observe our Student-Driven Research protocol with real students. This is effective because it allows teachers to see how these teaching methods work and how they can be adapted to their own teaching.

Katy Yan

“I’d recommend HSI Professional Development workshops to anyone interested in using experimental design in their science curriculum and getting their students excited about science.”
– Katy Yan, Bentley School, Oakland, CA

Mrs. Books

“I struggle to get that kid to ever do anything in class but he was totally into these projects and was taking charge of counting insects for his group all day” Mrs Books, Bentley School, Barrett Middle School

Andrea Peoples

“During the whole school week after the program, students were using what they had learned about water quality on the Headwaters trip to do experiments on the water around school.” Teacher Dr. Andrea Peoples Marwah, Bentley School, Oakland School of Language

Gabe Tang

“This program was a great culmination for our seniors. To put so many concepts from their classes together into one experience was very effective.” Woodside Priory Chemistry Teacher March ’19 on multidisciplinary aspect of students projects from designing experiments, analyzing data, and presenting findings. Teacher Gabe TangWoodside Priory

Headwaters Professional Development Framework

Headwaters Science Institute is passionate about bringing authentic student driven research (SDR) to classrooms. What is student driven research? We engage students’ natural curiosity, guiding them to design and perform experiments that answer their own questions through the scientific method. We have created professional development framework to build capacity within your school or district. Our professional development can be done in person or online. This experience immerses teachers into the SDR process and enables them to implement it within their classroom.

Hands-on experience

Students are the center of our programs. Headwaters staff work with teachers to drive student projects using the SDR framework. Content is covered, and standards are met while students design and implement their own inquiry-based research. This process not only benefits the student experience, but it also provides teachers with a template to facilitate this process with any content they desire.

Strategies to succeed

To build confidence and aptitude with student driven research projects, Headwaters offers a scalable professional development trajectory for educators. This program builds skills with student driven research through visualization, curriculum development, onsite assistance, and a “critical friend” mentor observation protocol. 

We provide you with our playbook

We offer collaborative time to work with teachers to take the next steps of using student driven research in their class. Each teacher will leave with a completed unit and all course materials. We offer a variety of programs to fit your needs.