/ Center for Exploratory Learning

Science Camps

Summer Science Camps started 20 years ago with Tod Gugino’s dream of sharing the love for science. Today, ExploreHope provides over 50 fun-filled educational camps for grades K-12.

Sample Schedule (Canceled for 2020)

  Morning
(Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–Noon)
Afternoon
(Monday–Thursday, 1–4:30pm)
June
8–12
Tykes Lego (K–2)
EV3 Lego Mindstorms Basic (3–5)
Crazy Chemistry (6–8)
Python and Raspberry Pi (8–12)
Crazy Chemistry (K–2)
Science of Art (3–5)
Exploring Ecosystems (3–6)
Inventing in 3D (6–12)
June
15–19
Super Science Sampler (K–2)
Ukelele 1 (2–8)
Club Vet (3–5)
Movie Making 2.0 (6–9, all day)
Applied Python Programming (9–12)
Art in Nature (K–2)
The Science of Harry Potter (3–5)
Cooking Chemistry (4–6)
Movie Making 2.0 (6–9, all day)
June
22–26
Prehistoric Planet (K–2)
Crazy Chemistry (3–5)
EV3 Lego Mindstorms Intermediate 
(4–8)
Nursing, Health Professions and Human
Performance (9–12, all day)
Classic Cartooning (2–10)
Tinker Engineers (K–2)
Science of Star Wars (3–5)
Programming and Circuits (6–9)
Nursing, Health Professions and Human 
Performance (9–12, all day)
Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels (4–12)
July
6–10
Cool Critters and Crawlies (K–2)
Science of Star Wars (3–5)
Wonders of the Watershed (6–8)
EV3 Mindstorms — Challenge (6–12)
Pirates Cove (K–2)
Dive into Dissection (3–5)
Movie Making (4–8)
Inventing in 3D (6–12)
July
13–17
Doing Science with Disney (K–2)
Tinker Engineers (K–2)
Art 2D/3D (3–5)
Invasive Species Research Experience  (10–12, all day)

Hammer Time (K–2)
CSI (3–5)
Dive Deeper into Dissection (6–8)
Invasive Species Research Experience (10–12, all day)
Ukelele 2 (5–8)

July
20–24
Tykes Lego (K–2)
Science of Harry Potter (2–4)
Art and Design (4–8)
Watershed Restoration (9–12)
Super Hero Science (K–2)
Exploring Energy (3–5)
Videogame Making with Scratch (3–5)
Neuroscience (8–12)

Camp Descriptions by Grade Level

Grade levels vary by camp. Please read carefully to make sure your student(s) is appropriately placed.

Camps are listed alphabetically by grade band. Register for the grade your student will be entering in fall 2020.

Elementary (Kindergarten–Grade 5)

Art 2D/3D — July 13–17

Grades 3–5
This camp takes old favorites and combines them with new projects while exploring the elements and principles of 2D and 3D art through the mediums of watercolor, graphite, colored pencils, wood, clay and metals.

art and Design — July 20–24

Grades 4–8
Love to create new costumes, art projects and sculptures? Explore basic art principles that can be applied to making your own dynamic and creative designs. Camp will involve a range of 3D media.

NEW! ART AND NATURE — June 15–18

Grades K–2
Inspired by nature! Get up close and personal with the life of a plant. We’ll dream up amazing art works using seeds, leaves and petals as we become scientists studying the natural world. Expect a lot of creative creations with this camp!

CLASSIC CARTOONING: A GOOGENIUS CAMP — June 22–26

Grades 2–10
Learn the basics of cartoon strip and panel development. Create characters, add expressions and learn inking techniques. A treasury will be assembled at the end of the class. Returnees will be challenged.

CLUB Vet — June 15–19

Grades 3–5
Explore the exciting world of animal care. If you want to own a pet, be a vet or work/volunteer in a pet-related job, then definitely come learn how different kinds of vets care for animals big, small and exotic.

COOL Critters and Crawlies — July 6–10

Grades K–2
Hakuna Matata is the theme for this camp as we explore the awesome world of bugs from butterflies to beetles, spiders to wasps and insects in between. (Formerly Creepy Crawlies)

Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels: A GooGenius Camp — June 22–25

Grades 4–12
Hone your graphic story-telling skills and create a collective graphic novel. Comic book, manga and basic graphic novel illustrations highlighted. Returnees welcome for more advanced exercises and a final project.

Cooking Chemistry — June 15–18

Grades 4–6
Campers will learn about the scientific reasoning behind the processes that happen while in the kitchen. They will find out what is in their food, how food changes and other interesting properties. Come join for a delicious adventure exploring the science behind what we eat! (Please indicate all allergies during the registration process)

CRAZY CHEMISTRY — JUNE 8–11 and June 22–26

Grades K–2 — June 8-11
Grades 3–5 — June 22-26

Solids, liquids and gasses — oh my! Polymers, pH and density — no lie. Come explore chemistry like never before with hands-on, exciting experiments and activities designed to satisfy both blooming and budding scientists. Who doesn’t like liquid nitrogen, dry ice, alka seltzer rockets, flubber and so much more? (Activities appropriate to the age group)

CSI — July 13–16

Grades 3–5 
How do modern-day detectives put the pieces of evidence together to solve crime? Find out the tricks and high-tech gadgets used as you solve an all-new crime. Topics covered include fingerprinting, DNA analysis, blood typing and more!

dive into dissection — July 6–9

Grades 3–5
Discover animals from the inside out. Apply dissection techniques to a wide variety of organisms and their parts. (Formerly Disgusting Dissection)

Doing science with disney — July 13–17

Grades K–2
Come explore science in the lands created by Disney. Heroes, villains and sidekicks alike will be our focus as we learn about all the special ways they use gems, energy and structures within their magical kingdoms.

EV3 LEGO MINDSTORMS BASIC — June 8–12

Grades 3–5
Welcome to the exciting world of Lego Robotics, EV3 style. Get an introduction to machines, robot construction, programming and teamwork as your group builds robots and completes challenges.

EV3 LEGO Mindstorms intermediate — june 22–26

Grades 4–8
Loved EV3 Basics Camp and want to learn more EV3 Mindstorms programming? Then this camp will give you new programming challenges to face, sensors to explore and robots to build. For those with some Mindstorms programming experience.

Exploring ecosystems — June 8–11

Grades 3–6
Step outside to explore local ecosystems! Whether it’s in the woods or water, there are critters everywhere that interact with their environment. You will get to collect, observe and identify organisms and measure abiotic factors to understand how they all interact to form an ecosystem.

Exploring Energy: A MAKE and Take Camp — July 20–23

Grades 3–5
Students will use common household or hardware items to study and create mini-projects that can be taken home for keeps! Science concepts that may be explored include sound and light waves, colors and optics, electricity and magnets, wind and solar power, heat and temperature.

HAMMER TIME — July 13–16

Grades K–2
Grab your hard hats and strap on your tool belts as we discover the science behind tools, materials and machinery. Let's get excited about the world of construction.

Movie Making — July 6–9

Grades 4–8
Explore the world of digital video communication through the creativity and technology of movie making. You’ll use digital video cameras, editing software and Mac computers to make your own movie.

PIRATES COVE — July 6–9

Grades K–2
Explore the awesome world under the sea. Learn about the marine creatures that make their homes beneath the surface. See how they live, “breathe,” eat, survive and find some treasure too.

PRE-HISTORIC PLANET — June 22–25

Grades K–2
Discover the world of dinosaurs as we learn the types, where they lived and what they ate. Explore rock formations, volcanoes, bones and fossils.

Science of art — June 8–11

Grades 3–5
Explore the awesome world of art as you create your own masterpieces and learn the science of painting, ceramics, printing, photography and sculpture.

Science of Harry Potter — June 15–18 and July 20–24

Grades 2–4 — July 20–24
Grades 3–5 — June 15–18

Upon arrival Monday, you’ll be “sorted” into houses and whisked away to the magical world of science — Harry Potter style. Perform experiments that illuminate the “science” from the Goblet of Fire to the Deathly Hallows.

Science of Star Wars — June 22–25 and July 6–10

Grades 3–5
The Force is calling you to travel galaxies a long time ago and far, far away. We will explore force shields, photons, creatures, droids and life forces. Build your own hovercraft and more as you join forces during our weeklong Jedi training.

SUPER SCIENCE SAMPLER — June 15–19

Grades K–2
Looking for a mix? This camp will have different themes each day from our K–2 camps… Club Vet, Cool Critters and Crawlies, Prehistoric Planet and Pirates Cove.

SUPERHERO SCIENCE — July 20–23

Grades K–2
Come to Superhero Science to discover the facts behind superpowers! We’ll cover everything from Iron Man’s flight skills and the biology of Hulk to Wolverine’s incredible senses and Thor’s knowledge of the universe. Who knows… you might become a superhero yourself!

TINKER ENGINEERING — June 22–25 and July 13–17

Grades K–2
Calling all tinkerers! Want to see what you can make from from your imagination? Come learn how to make simple machines and create your own contraptions to make stories come to life.

TYKES LEGO — June 8–12 and July 20–24

Grades K–2
Get ready to build awesome Lego structures as you are introduced to the science of simple machines, the mechanics of motion and the control of forces.

UKE CAN DO IT! SESSION 1 — June 15–19

Grades 2–8
This week long camp will be a first experience in ukulele playing (an instrument for lifelong music-making)​! Students will strum their way through the week learning basic chords, notes and as many songs as they can. The week will end with a short recital to celebrate all we have learned. Bound to be one of your child's favorite weeks of the summer! (No need to purchase a ukulele to participate. Ukuleles will be provided for registered campers to use during camp.)​ Students entering grades 2–8 who attend Uke 1 are then welcome to attend Uke 2!

Uke Can Do It! Session  2 — July 13–16

Grades 5–8
This week long camp will be a continued experience in ukulele playing. Students who are enrolled must have taken Session 1 either this summer or the summer before (2018). Students will strum their way through the week continuing to learn new chords and new songs! The week will end with a short recital to celebrate all we have learned. Bound to be one of your child's favorite weeks of the summer! (No need to purchase a ukulele to participate. Ukuleles will be provided for registered campers to use during camp.) Students entering grades 2-8 who attend Uke 1 are then welcome to attend Uke 2!

Videogame making with scratch — July 20–23

Grades 3–5
Program your own stories, artwork, animation and more with this simple computer program, Scratch. Explore the possibilities of computer science with this web-based platform then continue your creations at home after camp.

Middle School (Grades 6–8)

ART AND DESIGN — JUly 20–24

Grades 4–8
Love to create new costumes, art projects and sculptures? Explore basic art principles that can be applied to making your own dynamic and creative designs. Camp will involve a range of 3D media.

dive deeper into dissection  — July13–16

Grades 6–8
Explore deeper and advance your dissection skills through comparative anatomy of animals from different classes (think reptile, mammal, etc.) with and without backbones! (Formerly Disgusting Dissection 2.0)

CLASSIC CARTOONING: A GOOGENIUS CAMP —  June 22–26

Grades 2–10
Learn the basics of cartoon strip and panel development. Create characters, add expressions and learn inking techniques. A treasury will be assembled at the end of the class. Returnees will be challenged.

COMICS, MANGA & GRAPHIC NOVELS: A GOOGENIUS CAMP — June 22–25

Grades 4–12
Hone your graphic story-telling skills and create a collective graphic novel. Comic book, manga and basic graphic novel illustrations highlighted. Returnees welcome for more advanced exercises and a final project.

Cooking Chemistry — June 15–18

Grades 4–6
Campers will learn about the scientific reasoning behind the processes that happen while in the kitchen. They will find out what is in their food, how food changes and other interesting properties. Come join for a delicious adventure exploring the science behind what we eat! (Please indicate all allergies during the registration process)

CRAZY CHEMISTRY — June 8–12

Grades 6–8
Calling all chemists!! Come spend time with us in a college chemistry lab to explore elements, chemical and physical properties, solutions, polymers, states of matter (liquid nitrogen, dry ice and hydrogen balloons!) and more in this week long immersion in all things chemistry!

 EV3 LEGO MINDSTORMS CHALLENGE — July 6–10

Grades 6–12
We know you still love your LEGOs and Mindstorms. Middle and high school students still get to join the fun of Mindstorms program and build challenges based on FIRST Lego League prior competitions. Come show us what you can do. **Camp intended for students with prior Mindstorms experience.

EV3 Lego Mindstorms intermediate — June 22–26

Grades 4–8
Loved Lego 1 camps and want to learn more EV3 Mindstorms programming? Then this camp will give you new programming challenges to face and new robots to build. For those who some Mindstorms programming experience.

EXPLORING ECOSYSTEMS — July 8–11

Grades 3–6
Step outside to explore local ecosystems! Whether it’s in the woods or water, there are critters everywhere that interact with their environment. You will get to collect, observe and identify organisms and measure abiotic factors to understand how they all interact to form an ecosystem.

INVENTING IN 3D — June 8–11 and July 6–9

Grades 6–12 
Bring your creations to life with online drafting and 3D printing. Come explore this cutting edge technology along with developing skills in mechanical drawing, material testing and engineering design.

MOVIE MAKING — JUly 6–10

Grades 4–8
Explore the world of digital video communication through the creativity and technology of movie making. You’ll use digital video cameras, editing software and Mac computers to make your own movie.

MOVIE MAKING 2.0 — June 15–19 (all Day)

Grades 6–9
Get ready for cinema cameras, boom mics and real experience of a serious film production. This camp will upgrade your creativity and skills, and help you produce a movie at a higher level.

new! NEUROSCIENCE — JULY 20–23

Grades 8–12
Explore the power of the brain! Have you ever wanted to record your own brain activity or dissect a real brain? Have you ever been curious about how our brain controls our movements or how our senses work? If so, this is the camp for you! Come explore these topics and many more as we unpack the power of our mind!

PROGRAMMING AND CIRCUITS — June 22–25

Grades 6–9
Electronics are all around us — be part of creating them! Practice the logic of programming, explore how your favorite technologies work and build your own electronic circuits.

PYTHON AND RASPBERRY PI PROGRAMMING — June 8–12

Grades 8–12
Get started on your own Raspberry Pi projects. Learn python programming and the basic logic of the Raspberry Pi microcontroller to control a range of devices. Cost includes your own Raspberry Pi and circuitry components.

UKE CAN DO IT! SESSION 2 — July 13–16

Grades 5–8
This week-long camp will be a continued experience in ukulele playing. Students who are enrolled must have taken session 1 either this summer or the summer before (2019). Students will strum their way through the week continuing to learn new chords and new songs! The week will end with a short recital to celebrate all we have learned. Bound to be one of your child's favorite weeks of the summer! (No need to purchase a ukulele to participate. Ukuleles will be provided for registered campers to use during camp.) Students entering grades 2–8 who attend Uke 1 are then welcome to attend Uke 2!

new! wonders of the watershed — JULY 6–10

Grades 6–8
Water is vital to all life! That life depends on the quality of that water. In this camp, you will get to work beside Hope College students to sample water from a local river, run chemical and biological tests and use the results to determine its quality and ability to support life.

 

High School (Grades 9–12)

new! applied python programming — June 15–19

Grades 9–12
Explore the fun ways programming is used in electronics controls, application development and machine learning. For those with prior programming experience, apply your knowledge and build your skills to apply programming in ways we use every day. If you took a programming class in high school, come check out the next step!

CLASSIC CARTOONING – A GOOGENIUS CAMP — JUNE 22–26

Grades 2–10
Learn the basics of cartoon strip and panel development. Create characters, add expressions and learn inking techniques. A treasury will be assembled at the end of the class. Returnees will be challenged.

COMICS, MANGA & GRAPHIC NOVELS: A GOOGENIUS CAMP — June 22–25

Grades 4–12
Hone your graphic story telling skills and create a collective graphic novel. Comic book, manga and basic graphic novel illustrations highlighted. Returnees welcome for more advanced exercises and a final project.

EV3 LEGO MINDSTORMS CHALLENGE — July 6–10

Grades 6–12
We know you still love your LEGOs and Mindstorms. Middle and high school students still get to join the fun of Mindstorms program and build challenges based on FIRST Lego League prior competitions. Come show us what you can do. **Camp intended for students with prior Mindstorms experience.

new! INVASIVE SPECIES RESEARCH EXPERIENCE (FOR THOSE ENTERING GRADES 10–12 ONLY) — July 13–17 (All Day)

Grades 10–12 only
Step into the world of research labs and high-tech investigations. Learn first-hand research techniques, lab protocols and data analysis. Focusing on biology research at Hope College, students will collect invasive species data along with college researchers at the Hope College nature preserve. Participants will see how the data is analyzed and interpreted and how the work fits into larger research questions. Camp is aimed for high school students interested in engineering and science careers and hoping to learn how cutting-edge research is performed at the college level. Campers must have completed a year of high school to apply.

INVENTING IN 3D — june 8–11 and July 6–9

Grades 6–12 
Bring your creations to life with online drafting and 3D printing. Come explore this cutting edge technology along with developing skills in mechanical drawing, material testing and engineering design.

MOVIE MAKING 2.0 — JUne 15–19 (ALL DAY)

Grades 6–9
Get ready for cinema cameras, boom mics and real experience of a serious film production. This camp will upgrade your creativity and skills, and help you produce a movie at a higher level.

new! neuroscience — JUly 20–23

Grades 8–12
Explore the power of the brain! Have you ever wanted to record your own brain activity or dissect a real brain? Have you ever been curious about how our brain controls our movements or how our senses work? If so, this is the camp for you! Come explore these topics and many more as we unpack the power of our mind!

new! NUrsING, HEALTH PROFESSIONS and Human performance — June 22–26

Grades 9–12
Explore the exciting range of careers in health care and participate in many of the skills required to be successful in nursing, health care and the development/improvement of human performance. Hands-on daily experiences will be split between nursing and kinesiology department labs. Focusing on human anatomy, nursing skills, athletic training, strength and conditioning, performance psychology and exercise physiology.

PYTHON AND RASPBERRY PI PROGRAMMING — June 8–12

Grades 8–12
Get started on your own Raspberry Pi projects. Learn python programming and the basic logic of the Raspberry Pi microcontroller to control a range of devices. Cost includes your own Raspberry Pi and circuitry components.

new! Watershed restoration — JUly 20–24

Grades 9-12
Here in Michigan, we are fortunate to be surrounded by water. We should fight to protect that water! The focus of this camp is on water restoration. Campers will work alongside Hope College students to collect and analyze water from a local river to determine the water quality and produce a remediation plan to be reviewed by the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council.

Additional Information

LUNCHTIME SUPERVISION
Lunchtime supervision is available for campers enrolled in a morning and afternoon camp during the same week. Available Monday through Thursday, $40/week. Sign up when you register.
FINANCIAL AID
A limited number of 50% scholarships are available for campers. Determination usually made based on free and reduced school lunch. Indicate on your registration or contact sciencecamp@hope.edu for more information.
 MEDICAL AND SPECIAL NEEDS
 Please inform us of all medical and special needs for your child. We aim to create a welcome environment for all. However, we are not staffed for one-on-one assistance for students. Please indicate on your registration and we will contact you for further information.
SUPPORT US!

Science camps are self-funded through tuition and grants. Support us with a donation to our scholarship fund. 100% of donations go to campers in need.

Give online today 

Thank you to our amazing sponsors: