Spots still open for Headwaters’ 2022 summer camps and programs

Spots still open for Headwaters’ 2022 summer camps and programs

Your one-stop shop for your student’s summer plans are right here. Registration for Headwaters Science Institute’s summer camps and programs are open, and spots are still available. But they are filling up fast, so act now. Below you can find all of our offerings for Summer 2022.

Truckee Young Scientist Exploration Camp

Give your child the opportunity to explore nature this summer. This hands-on science camp is designed for children to have fun while exploring the unique ecology of the area.

Campers will explore the Truckee Donner Land Trust’s new Truckee Springs park in Downtown Truckee. From this site, hiking, splashing in the river, and other fun activities are all easily accessible. Science is fun and engaging when children get to ask the questions that they are curious about. This program will show your child that science is all around them, while forging a unique connection to the flora and fauna of the Sierra Nevada region.

Overview

Ages: 5-12

Dates:
Session 1 – July 5-8
Session 2 – Aug. 8-12

Times: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. daily

Location: Truckee Donner Land Trust’s “Truckee Springs” parcel (drop off at the end of South River Street)

Price:

Session 1 – $315 (includes Headwaters T-shirt), CIT $150
Session 2 – $385 (includes Headwaters T-shirt), CIT $175

For more details or sign up, visit the camp page here.

 

Kirkwood Scientist Exploration Camp

Over the week, Headwaters instructors will guide participants through exploring the natural systems around them and developing curiosity about the natural world.

Campers will explore the native diversity in the Kirkwood area. We will take hikes and investigate the local ecosystem. We’ll ask questions about what we’re seeing, collect data, and find answers. There will be time for games, scavenger hunts, play, and time to cool off.

Overview

General registration: Ages 5-13
Counselor-in-training program: Ages 13-15

Dates:

9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday-Friday

Session 1 – Water Week, June 27- July 1
Session 2 – Plants and Wildflowers, July 5- 8 (Tuesday-Friday)
Session 3 – Rocks and Geology July, 11-15
Session 4 – Animals, July 25-29
Session 5 – Insects, Aug. 1-5

Price: $450/session (includes Headwaters T-shirt) ($375 for Session 2); $225 for CIT Program (Ages 13-15)

For more information or to sign up, visit the camp page here.

 

Serene Lakes Young Scientist Exploration Camp

Give your child the opportunity to explore Serene Lakes this summer. This hands-on science camp is designed for children of Serene Lakes families to explore the unique ecology of the area.

Day campers will explore the natural spaces around Serene Lakes, ask scientific questions, and design and conduct experiments to answer their own questions. Science is fun and engaging when children get to ask the questions that they are curious about. This program will show your child science is fun and all around them while forging a unique connection to the Serene Lakes area.

Overview

General registration: Ages 5-12
Counselor-in-training program:
Ages 13-15

Dates:

9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday-Thursday

Session 1 – July 18-21
Session 2 – July 25-28
Session 3 – Aug. 1-4

Price: $275 per Session, CIT $140

For more information or to sign up, visit the camp page here.

 

Girls Science Program

We will have a week of GIRLS ONLY science and camping at the Truckee Donner Land Trust’s Webber Lake Campground. In addition, girls can sign up for the Headwaters’ Summer Research Experience, for a full summer of science.

Foundations of the program:

1. Scientific  Research

Students work with an all female cohort of peers at Webber Lake and with professional female scientist mentors to create questions around their environmental topics of interest and develop these questions into a research project.

2. Mentorship

The students will be mentored by female scientists 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 talk. If they would like to create a paper they should also join our Summer Research Experience and at the end, they submit their paper for publication. They can get all of their data collected for the summer-long program during this week at Webber Lake.

Overview

Camping: Participants will camp at our Webber Lake study site from July 10-15. Parents will drop off campers on Sunday, July 10th after dinner and pick up on Friday, July 15 by noon.

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

Price: $800

For more information or to sign up, visit the program page here.

 

Environmental Science Research Camp

An environmental science camp at the Truckee Donner Land Trust’s Webber Lake Campground for students going into 7th grade and older.

Foundations of the program:

1. Scientific Research

Students work with a cohort of peers at Webber Lake and with professional scientist mentors to create questions around their environmental topics of interest and develop these questions into a research project.

2. Mentorship

The students will be mentored by scientists for guidance through their project. These career-scientists can help with recommendations for how to turn an idea into an executable project.

3. Professional caliber scientific exploration

Participants are given the chance to practice science just like a professional would, analyzing data and finally creating a research talk. If they would like to create a paper they should also join our Summer Research Experience and at the end, they submit their paper for publication. They can get all of their data collected for the summer-long program during this week at Webber Lake.

Overview

Camping: Participants will camp at our Webber Lake study site from July 10-15. Parents will drop off campers on Sunday, July 10th after dinner and pick up on Friday, July 15 by noon.

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

Price: $800

For more information or to sign up, visit the program page here.

Research Experience

In the program, students will design and create an original research project mentored by a professional scientist, see through the project by conducting field research, (or compiling pre-existing available datasets), and learn how to analyze their findings. Students complete the program with a finalized research presentation and a formal research paper that will be submitted for publication.

Mentors:
Our professional scientist mentors are experienced in research and in mentoring students with a variety of research interests. They guide students to utilize a diverse array of research skills that can be used to study almost any topic imaginable.

Benefits:
Students emerge from the program with an experience they can add to a college resume, and life skills that will better prepare them for any career.

Overview

Location: Online meetings, independent research in the location of student’s choosing

Summer 2022 Program dates: Week of June 14 through the week of August 9th

Session Times: (students can select one of these based on their availability)

Tuesday – 2-3 p.m. PST

Tuesday – 5-6 p.m. PST

Cost: $1,350

Registration Process: Fill out either the financial assistance application (if you need financial help) or register directly. Registration opens February 1, 2022.
Regular registration until the program is filled. Financial assistance applications are open through March 1, 2022. Students will be notified by April 1, 2022.

For more information or sign up, visit the program page here.

 

‘They’re more excited, they’re more engaged’: BDOG highlights programs in underserved communities

‘They’re more excited, they’re more engaged’: BDOG highlights programs in underserved communities

The field research programs that Sacramento’s Barrett Middle School participates in each year with Headwaters Science Institute might just be for one day, but the impact lasts far longer – sometimes for a lifetime.  

Seventh-grade teacher Lori Sindel-Wawro said she commonly hears students talking about the research they participated in days after the program has ended. 

I would say 99 percent of the kids talked about it afterward because they were in the stream or in the field and figuring out stuff on their own,” Sindel-Wawro recently told Headwaters. 

Research takes kids out of classrooms

This type of hands-on research takes Barrett students out of the classroom, away from the city and into the outdoors in places like Donner Summit. Unfortunately, Barrett and many of its families don’t have the ability to afford these types of experiences on their own, and they struggle to fundraise for these trips each year. 

That’s where Headwaters’ participation in Big Day of Giving comes in, allowing schools in Sacramento’s disadvantaged communities, like Barrett, to continue to offer these important hands-on learning activities. 

“They’re more excited, they’re more engaged in the activity, they’re asking questions, they’re finding things, they’re discovering stuff,” Sindel-Wawro said. “They’re just excited. They’re not in a sterile classroom, and you’re out in the field and you’re researching something you’re interested in because you picked the topic.”

Kids research topics such as bird populations, insects near the water vs. in the forest, how moisture affects plant growth or how water temperature changes fish populations. 

“I don’t ever have kids come away saying that was a bad trip”

It can be life changing. 

More than 90 percent of students who participate in Headwaters’ programs say they learn something they wouldn’t in a normal science class. The percentage of students interested in a career in science increased by more than 24 percent to 63 percent after a program. 

“I don’t ever have kids come away saying that was a bad trip,” Sindel-Wawro said. “It inspires some of them.”

You can have a direct impact on the life of a child who’s interested in science but doesn’t necessarily have the opportunity to expand their knowledge by participating in Headwaters’ 2022 Big Day of Giving fundraiser. Raising enough money will allow Headwaters to continue to make these types of programs free to schools like Barrett Middle School. 

 

My up-close-and-personal tour of NASA a testament to hands-on science learning

My up-close-and-personal tour of NASA a testament to hands-on science learning

Growing up along the Space Coast of Florida has allowed me to watch many historic launches, visit Space Camp, and explore the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. All of these experiences furthered my passion for science.

Those experiences never stop when you dedicated your life to science.

For me, it continued when I was given the incredible opportunity recently to take an up-close-and-personal tour of the NASA Corrosion Engineering Laboratories with one of our Lunch With A Scientist featured presenters, Dr. Eliza Montgomery.

This tour brought me face to face with the Artemis 1 rocket, due to launch this month from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. The Artemis 1 rocket is the first integrated test of NASA’s deep-space exploration system. The Artemis program will launch in a series that will enable humans to return to the Moon and eventually Mars. 

Neil Armstrong was the first man to step foot on the moon (me pictured below next to his space suit). His famous quote, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”, was heard around the world.

The Artemis Missions are the next leap mankind will take. 

“Very few times in someone’s life is there a giant leap where you get where you want to go immediately, its baby steps. Keeping your eye on the prize will get you there. No one’s path out there is necessarily straight” 

Dr. Eliza Montgomery

It’s this type of hands-on learning that makes science such an intriguing and important pursuit. I’ve been fortunate enough to have these types of experiences throughout my journey into science education, and I feel very blessed to be able to bring real-life scientific experiences to the students of Headwaters. 

The need for future scientists is constantly growing. We need young minds to step up and become the next generation of innovators. Your path starts with you. Headwaters Science Institute can help you take this first step. We offer many opportunities for students to get involved in research. Registration is open for our Summer Research Experience. Follow your passion for science and find the steps you need to take your giant leap. 

Jennifer Cotton

Jennifer Cotton

Program Director

Winter field day students study ‘the importance of snow’

Winter field day students study ‘the importance of snow’

Students at the 2022 TEA Snow Science field day.

Headwater Science Institute’s winter of studying the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada continued last week with the completion of the Tahoe Expedition Academy Snow Science Field Program. 

It was two days of fun-filled and informative research, the first day for ninth- and 10th-grade biology students and the second for 11th- and 12th-grade earth science students. 

“I never knew what I skied on everyday was so complex,” one student said.

The days were a shortened version of Headwaters’ Research Experience, an immersive, months-long program where students develop a formal research paper, allowing students to see how snow depth and density is measured and what kinds of water-quality metrics can be measured from snow melt. 

Like the full Research Experience, these students then completed a mini research project of their own to experience how the scientific process works. 

Here are some more quotes from the two field days:

“I loved learning about how snow layers are formed and seeing it in real life.”

“I got to learn about the importance of snow and different factors [that can be measured] in snow. I got to be outside and have a blast.”

“I had a lot of fun and learned about albedo and its impact on rate of snow melt.”

Check out more photos from the camp here.   

‘This trip was really amazing’: Bay School Snow Science Camp kicks off 2022 programing

‘This trip was really amazing’: Bay School Snow Science Camp kicks off 2022 programing

 

Building a snow cave at the 2022 Bay School Snow Science Camp.

Do roads impact water quality in the snowpack? How does a forest or an open meadow change snowpack depth? 

These are just some of the questions students examined at the recently completed Headwaters Science Institute’s Bay School Snow Science Camp in the Sierra Nevada’s Olympic Valley – topped off with a healthy portion of cross country skiing, playing in the snow and even learning how to build an emergency snow shelter.  

“I thoroughly enjoyed this trip, from going out into the meadow of snow and taking samples, to cross country skiing,” Bay School camper Coco told Headwaters. “I learned so much over the course of this trip, especially about the chemicals in snow, such as pH and how that affects drinking water and the native biotic species.”  

The camp kicked off with students watching our Lunch With A Scientist talk with Dr. David Hill of Oregon State University to give them background on snow science and how we measure snow in the field. 

Arie Koshkin, a graduate student studying snow science at University of Nevada Reno, brought her expertise to the camp examining the effects of fire on snow pack. She even brought some cool instruments from her lab for the students to use. 

“I really enjoyed being in the snow and learning about its role – from the chemical composition of snow to skiing,” Arie, another camper, said. “I also met a lot of new people and found friends with similar interests in science. This trip was really amazing and I can’t wait to continue exploring science.” 

Check out more photos from the camp here.