Girls Summer Research Experience

Program Overview


Headwaters 2021 Girls Summer Research Experience returns this year with a new format: as a digital learning cohort plus an optional week of socially distanced camping at the Truckee Donner Land Trust’s Webber Lake Campground. 

This program will run as a female-specific section of Headwaters’ Summer Research Experience, with added sections just for participants of this program.

Foundations of the program:

1. Scientific  Research

Students work digitally in a female-specific cohort of peers and one-on-on with a professional scientist mentor to create questions around a topic of interest and develop these questions into a research project.

2. Mentorship

Each participant will pair one-on-one with a female scientist for guidance through their project. These career-scientists can help with recommendations for how to turn an idea into an executable project.

3. Female Empowerment

A female specific cohort provides support for participants to explore the science field in ways that are unique.

4. Professional caliber scientific exploration 

Participants are given the chance to practice science just like a professional would, analyzing data and finally creating a research paper which they submit for publication.


 2021 Program Details

*Note: registration for this program is closed

Virtual group meetings: group sessions will meet as special cohort of our virtual Summer Research Experience with female-only paticipants. The meeting time for this cohort is Tuesdays from 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Camping option: Participants have the option to camp at our Webber Lake study site from July 12-16.  Parents will drop off campers on Monday July 12 and pick up on Friday July 16.

Location: The campground is located at Webber Lake in Truckee, California at the Truckee Donner Land Trust campground.

2020 Camp DatesJune 21 – August 20

General Camp Outline

Students will create:

  • an original research project complete with reserach methods and data collection
  • a polished research presentation
  • a published research paper

Please note: This year’s modified digital program schedule differs from our typical yearly on-location camp. We hope to offer our immersive week of camp again in the future!

Program schedule: the Girls program will run as a specific session of the Summer Research Experience and will follow that schedule (see the Research Experience page here), with some specific added sesssions just for this cohort. 

Camping schedule: participants have the option to camp at Webber Lake to do data collection from July 12-16. All camping is socially distanced and mealtime is on your own. A scientist mentor will be on-site to help answer questions about your data collection. Note: If you have attended our girls camp before, this year’s week of camping will not include group activities or assignments like you may be used to. 

Packing list

Students can choose an optional week of camping during our 2021 program. All food should be provided by the student and campers are not allowed to share tents or any other supplies this year. For a complete packing list, contact Meg:

Students will gather virtually following the program to present their research to friends and family via livestream. You will be assigned a presentation date that works with your schedule.  


Please contact Meg Seifert: with any questions.

Camp Sponsors

Staffing and Emergency Policies:

Headwaters Science Institute is committed to maintaining the highest safety and security standards for our programs.  When your children are in our care, you can trust that they are safe.

  • All employees and contractors are background checked before they start working with us. We use a national-level background check program called National Crime Search ( that searches all states and county records for any criminal records, sex & violent offenders, and includes a terrorist search.
  • Our staff members are all first-aid and CPR certified. Some are Wilderness First Responder certified as well.
  • We have a safety plan for every field site we use and know where the nearest fire station is located. We are never more than a few minutes walk to the nearest road.
  • In the unlikely event of an emergency, we always work in areas that are easily served by 911. Our field site on Donner Summit is less than 2 miles from the nearest fire station with full-time EMT services and the hospital is a short 10-minute ride away.