Professional Development


Headwaters Science Institute offers professional development opportunities for teachers!

Our professional development workshops are unique. Instead of talking with teachers about how they should theoretically teach students, we actually have the teachers observe the student driven research protocol in practice with real students. This is effective because the teachers get a sense of 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 Trajectory

We recognize that as important as professional development is for teachers, it’s often a challenge to fit it into their busy lives. That’s why Headwaters tries to be as flexible as possible with out PD workshops. We bring our science professional development workshops to your school and can do a student driven research program with classes there. These programs are based around the core idea that students are more deeply engaged in learning when they are asking and investigating their own research questions.

When a Headwaters program is initiated, the teacher provides guidelines for their current unit or lesson. Headwaters staff work with teachers to nest student projects into the content at hand. This way 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, it also provides teachers with a repeatable framework on which to hang any content that they desire.

When the classroom program is completed we have additional workshop time with the teachers to help them take the next steps to using student driven research in their class. Alternatively, teachers are welcome to contact our Director Meg Seifert to schedule a time to do SDR 101 by observing a program from another school.

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


There are no additional professional development costs with a fully paid student program. If a teacher would like to do their professional development program in conjunction with another school’s program, workshops cost $100 plus any food, lodging, and transportation costs associated with the program.


Are you interested in just buying our curriculum? We can send our Student Driven Research Framework for free. We can also design a custom curriculum to match the needs of your class.