Girls Summer Science Camp

COVID-19 Statement

Unfortunately this camp has been cancelled for 2020 in order to preserve the safety of our campers, staff, and the general public, but we hope to see you next year!

Program Overview

Headwaters annual Girls Summer Science Camp combines a unique educational experience with a fun and supportive all female summer camp for campers in grades 8-12. This transformative event aims to help more girls become leaders in the sciences.

During this camp, participants work in small groups to complete an independent scientific research project. Campers will ask scientific questions then design and conduct experiments to test their questions. Female scientists will offer mentorship throughout this process. The camp will culminate with students giving a scientific presentation about their research to their peers. Each day, in addition to their research, students will have opportunities to explore, swim, and kayak on Webber Lake.

Camp Details

Location: Campers stay at Webber Lake in Truckee, California at the Truckee Donner Land Trust campground. 

2020 Camp DatesJuly 12-17

Cost: $700

Scholarships: Applications are due April 1 by 4pm. Apply here.  We encourage students to register for now camp while space is available, and we will refund you any scholarship money you earn.

Drop off: Sunday, July 12, 2019 at 6:00-7:00pm at the Webber Lake Campground

Pick up: Friday, July 17, 2019 at 12:00pm at the Webber Lake Campground

General Camp Outline

Students will design and conduct…

…an original research project and emerge with a polished research presentation suitable for use on a college application.

General Camp Outline

Day 1: arrival and meet-and-greet
Campers arrive at Webber Lake Campground after dinner, set up tents, and settle in. Following this, we’ll have a campfire with S’mores to get to know each other. 

Day 2: design research projects
Campers will hike to Lacey Meadow to explore, begin formulating research questions, and finish the day with a swim or kayak on Webber Lake. A female scientist will lead an educational evening program.

Day 3: data collection
Campers collect preliminary data and figure out how feasible their project is, then have time to improve or change their projects as needed. Guided hike to Webber Falls for the afternoon. Day concludes with an evening walk and games around the campfire.

A Quarry Lane student learning about soil moisture during her school field trip to the Sierra.

Researching soil pH and vegetation

Day 4: data collection
Groups continue working on collecting data for their research projects. In the afternoon campers will kayak on Webber Lake. Groups doing comparative studies can collect samples from the lake. Evening talk lead by female scientist, followed by more work on projects.

Day 5: service work and data collection
Groups will complete a service project at the campground or on trails near Webber Lake. They also have time to finish data collection. The evening ends with a campfire with skits and s’mores.

Day 6: Final Presentations
Groups finish working on their scientific poster. Instructors help students practice their presentations. Any groups that are done will have time to hike, swim, or kayak. During lunch groups will present their research projects. Each group will field questions following their presentation. Parents and interested partners are invited to the presentation session at noon.

Packing list

This list varies each year and will be updated before the next camp.

Post Program Nature Hikes

guided hike held by the Truckee Donner Land Trust will follow. Campers will help guide the hike.

Specific details will be added for each camp when they become available.

Celebrate Science Evening

Camp concludes with formal presentations at Celebrate Women In Science, our capstone event in Truckee, California, the evening following camp. Campers will present their research to their peers, parents, and the public. 

Please contact Meg Seifert: meg@headwatersscienceinstitute.org 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 (nationalcrimesearch.com) 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.