Science Camp

Check out our  Summer Science Camp flyer

Please share it with anyone who might be interested.


Headwaters can host this science camp for your school. We need a minimum of 20 students to run it. We can decrease the price if there are teachers to help chaperone the camp. We will customize the camp for students in middle school and high school.

Have you ever wanted to tag along with a scientist doing field research? Ever wonder how real science is done? We have a summer program that’s perfect for rising 10th through 12th graders (including recent high school graduates and certain rising 9th graders—by application only) who are curious about the world around them. Our program will help prepare students for upper level science classes and will strengthen college applications. In addition to designing and conducting real research projects, our programs have plenty of time set aside for adventure and exploration in the surrounding mountains and lakes.

IMG_0101Our outdoor science program gives students hands-on experience with graduate level research. Unlike other programs providing exposure to existing field work, we empower students to design their own original research projects and then support them through the entire process—from implementation, to data collection, to analysis. Our field site offers an array of engaging features around which students can design their research. Potential topics range from wetland ecology, forest fires, host-parasite relations, water chemistry, forest succession, and geology, to the impact of human history on local ecology.   


Check in: 7:00 to 9:00 am at Clair Tappaan Lodge. Students also have the option to arrive the previous evening, between 4:00 and 6:00 pm.

After check-in, students will learn the layout of the lodge. At 9:30 we will introduce the program and head out to the Van Norden Meadow shortly afterwards. Students will explore the meadow while gaining hands-on experience conducting wetland monitoring, and working with amphibians and insects in the meadow. These experiences will be part of the base upon which students will develop their own research questions the next day.

Evening Program:  Film Night- can be environmental education or simply fun. 

In the forest behind the lodge students will survey old growth fir stands, collect phenological data, and learn about forest fire cycles. Groups will hike to an alpine lake after lunch where students will have the option to swim. Before returning to the lodge for dinner, students will do a brainstorming activity and start coming up with research project ideas of their own to implement over the next few days.

Evening Program: Engineering challenge and research project planning

Students will split into smaller groups based on their project interests and head into the field to collect data. After lunch students will pull together their preliminary data and be able to make crucial adjustments to their research methods. In the afternoon we will head to Donner Lake for some paddle boarding, kayaking and to learn more about water science.

Evening Program:  Groups will work on projects with a focus on how to analyze and present their data. If they are ahead we can head out for night walk and explore the Sierra at night.

Groups will finish collecting field data and analyze their findings. Students will be expected to read through information on their topic and discuss their project in the context of current science. Each group will create a presentation they will give to the entire group and parents the following day.

Evening Program:  Campfire with skits and s’moresDSC_6088 (Ambrose Tuscano's conflicted copy 2014-08-12)

In the morning groups will go on a short hike to a local peak for some views of the surrounding area or they will have time to finish/practice their presentation. Groups will return to the lodge for lunch and to present their projects. Parents are encouraged to come early and watch the student presentations. Pick up will be from 1:00-2:00 pm.


$725; early reg discount $675. The price includes all food, lodging, activities, supervision, and transportation during the program. It does not include transportation to and from Soda Springs. We can make arrangements to pick up at the train/bus station in Truckee or at the Reno Tahoe international airport. Please contact Megan if financial assistance is needed.

Contact Meg if you would like more information about our June camp.

Summer Science Experience Fillable Registration Form
Summer Science Experience PARTICIPANT RELEASE
To register please fill out and mail the registration forms with a check to:
Megan Seifert
Headwaters Science Institute
PO Box 913
Soda Springs, CA 95728
or email forms and check to:

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