Digital Research Program

Program Overview

Get curious with a fun project!

How it works: Research and the process of discovering the unknown is one of the most exciting parts of the sciences. You will engage in this very process by conducting your very own original research and submitting your discoveries to a science journal for publication. To guide you through this rewarding process, you will be paired with a Headwaters staff scientist mentor.

Student Research Journal

Students in this program create journal articles they submit to publications for consideration. Browse current and past editions through the link below. 

Upcoming Program Details


Location: Online

2021 Camp dates: February 2 – April 23

Session Times: 2 sessions available. Tuesdays from 4:00-5:00 p.m. OR 5:15-6:15 p.m.

Cost: $1350

Scholarships: Applications due by 5 p.m. January 10th.

General Camp Outline


Engage in the process of scientific research by conducting your very own original research project and submitting your discoveries to a science journal for publication.

You will be paired with a professional scientist experienced in research and in mentoring students like yourself. This program will give you the tools to make the jump from someone who reads about others’ discoveries to a contributor to the world’s body of scientific knowledge.

What To Expect

Through group lessons and one-on-one sessions with your assigned scientist mentor, you will:

  • ask an original research question
  • design and conduct an experiment
  • analyze your data
  • submit a manuscript to a youth-specific scientific journal
  • Note: Program requires 2-3 hours of independent work per hour group of instruction.

Sample Study Topics

You may choose any topic, but here are a few examples:

  • Urban environments: How do organisms function in heavily impacted environments
  • Microclimates: How do microclimates differ around a certain area? Does it affect what is found there?
  • Water quality: Sources of pollution and their impacts in your neighborhood.
  • Human impact: How do we affect the environments around us
  • Entomology: Insect behavior and biodiversity.
  • Organism responses to the environment: How do plants, insects, or birds respond to different environmental cues?

Meet The Mentors

Spencer Eusden – Group lesson lead and mentor – Spencer has been teaching
with Headwaters since its inception in 2014 and has experience guiding student
research projects in almost any topic imaginable.
Meg Seifert Ph.D. – In addition to being Headwaters’ Executive Director, Meg brings research experience in zoology from her doctorate and a passion for student-led research.
Dan Dudek – Dan holds a masters in evolutionary biology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is entering a Ph.D. program at the University of Texas Arlington with extensive amphibian and genetic research experience.
Ashley Pierce Ph.D. – As a former Headwaters Program Director and current science and technology policy fellow with the National Science Foundation (N.S.F.) Ashely brings her strong background in chemistry and atmospheric pollutants to
this program.
N.O.A.A Research Scientists – Several scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will also be serving as mentors sharing their knowledge and experience in studying weather, microclimates, and how they affect us.

This Camp is Supported By: