Our programs at schools offer a high level, inquiry-based science research experience in a flexible setting.


Data collection can be completed at your school’s campus or a field site nearby. Because every school group has different needs and constraints, we are excited to offer programs at schools using the same Student Driven Research Protocol as our overnights, so students get a great science experience, but the program takes place closer to home. This program can even be customized to fit within class blocks at school. We do recommend that the students have one full field day to make the most of their data collection experience.


A three day program with Headwaters starts and finishes at your school. Many schools include a 1 day field trip to a nearby natural site or waterway, during which students collect data for their projects. If leaving school is not an option, our instructors have plenty of experience building experiments and collecting data on campus.

 Sample Schedule

Day 1: During a two hour session students learn how to ask relevant research questions about the topic chosen by the teacher. The students draw background information from class and/or reading assignments to help. Students end the session by designing their research methods.


Day 2: Students get a half or full day of research at school or a field site. Students will execute their project methods and work through the many real world problems of data collection. Students will organize their data for homework.

Day 3: During this final two hour session, students analyze their data, relate their conclusions back to their hypotheses, and work on their final product. Students will be given homework time or an additional class session to finish their final product–a scientific poster, slideshow presentation, or paper.

Pre and post-program learning evaluation, in the form of a 15 minute assessment, are used to measure program effectiveness. 

Program Topics:


Nearby Field Sites


Waterways. Water is essential for life, but not all water is the same. In this option students will study how characteristics of waterways impact the organisms living in them.

Insects in the Environment. Students can study how different ecological niches affect insect traits and behavior.

Adaptable Plants. They are everywhere, with countless adaptations for different environments. This focus allows students to investigate the many adaptations plants use for survival.

At Your School

Let us turn your campus into a field science station! Topics of study include:


Urban Entomology. Insects make for an engaging study subject and can be found anywhere. Prior students have studied how different biotic and abiotic factors affect insect populations in and around campus.

Bird Feeding Behavior. Students can design experiments around feeding behavior, resource limitation, and predator-prey interactions. This project requires the class to put out bird feeders at least one month prior to the Headwaters program.

How Plants Work. Students can grow, dissect, and compare different plants as they learn how plants function through conducting their own research projects.

 See Past Student Work

Cost: Program costs are determined on a sliding scale based on financial need. Multiple class volume discounts are available.


Meg Seifert for more information on programs and program references.

kids pick

Depending on time, location, and the organizing group’s interests, students can also have the opportunity to participate in ongoing research projects, such as phenonogical monitoring for the National Phenology Network or other projects in cooperation with local science researchers. We aim for the students to develop and implement their own research projects as completely as possible, within the scope of the program.