/ ExploreHope Academic Outreach

Summer Camps

Summer Science Camps began in 1997 with Tod Gugino’s dream of sharing the love for science. Today, ExploreHope provides over 50 fun-filled educational camps for grades K–12.

2023 Schedule

  Morning
(Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–Noon)
Afternoon
(Monday–Thursday, 1–4:30 p.m.)
June 12–16
  • Tykes Lego (K–2)
  • Science of Harry Potter (3–5)
  • Exploring Ecosystems (3–6)
  • Art and Design (6–8)
  • Python & Raspberry Pi (8–12)
  • Crazy Chemistry (K–2)
  • Roller Coaster Science (3–6)
  • Movie Making 1.0 (4–6)
  • Neuroscience (8–12)

June 19–23
  • Cool Critters and Crawlies (K–2)
  • EV3 Basic (3–5)
  • Wonders of the Watershed (6–8)
  • Nursing, Health Professions & Human Performance (9–12) Full-day camp
  • Art in Nature (K–2)
  • Exploring Energy (3–5)
  • Dive into Dissection (4–6)
  • Nursing, Health Professions & Human Performance (9–12) Full-day camp
June 26–30
  • Crazy Chemistry (K–2)
  • Art 2D–3D (3–6)
  • Crazy Chemistry (6–9)
  • EV3 Basic (3–5)
  • Biology Research – Bird Communication(10-12) Full-day camp
  • Prehistoric Planet (K–2)
  • CSI (3–5)
  • Inventing in 3D (5–9)
  • Biology Research – Bird Communication(10–12) Full-day camp
July 10-14
  • Super Science Sampler (K–2)
  • Club Vet (3–5)
  • VGM with Scratch (3–5)
  • Photovoltaic Fabrication/Renewable Energy Research (10–12) Full-day camp
  • Tinker Engineers (K–2)
  • Crazy Chemistry (3–6)
  • Crime Buster Skills- Science Olympiad (6–9)
  • Photovoltaic Fabrication/Renewable Energy Research (10–12) Full-day camp
July 17–21
  • Tykes Lego (K–2)
  • Science of Art (3–6)
  • Star Wars (3–5)
  • EV3 Advanced (6–12)
  • Movie Making 2.0 (7–9)
  • Classic Cartooning — A Googenius Camp (2–10)
  • Super Hero (K–2)
  • Space Camp (3–6)
  • Websites and Animations (6–9)
  • Comics, Magna, & Graphic Novels — A Googenius Camp (4–12)
July 24–28
  • Doing Science with Disney (K–2)
  • Science of Harry Potter (3–5)
  • Taking Command of Circuits (6–9)
  • Dive Deeper into Dissection (6–8)
  • Art in Nature (K–2)
  • Geo Camp: Michigan History Mystery (3–6)
  • Movie Making 1.0 (4–6)

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 2023.

Elementary (Kindergarten–Grade 5)

Art 2D/3D — June 26–30
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 metal.

ART in NATURE — June 19-22  and July 24-27
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!

Club vet — July 10-14
Grades 3–5
Attention all future veterinarians! Do you love caring for animals? Want to learn what vets do? Come join us as we explore what veterinarians do and and the ways they help care for animals. Hear from a local vet, participate in lab testing, explore parasites and more.

COOL Critters and Crawlies — June 19-23
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)

CRAZY CHEMISTRY — June 12–15 and 26–30

Grades K–2
Chemistry is fun! Major chemistry concepts underlie every hands-on experience in this camp designed for budding chemists and curious kids alike. Do you like to mix things together and watch what happens? We will explore how different substances reach to each other; some will “explode,” others will connect, while others will grow into crystals. Ever wonder how dry ice and liquid nitrogen react to normal room temperature? Come to camp to find out! Parents: This camp provides a good base for Crazy Chemistry 3–5.

Crazy chemistry — July 10–13
Grades 3–6 — July 10–13
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?

CSI — June 26–29
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 — JuNE 19–22
Grades 4–6 
Have you ever wondered what’s on the inside of animals? Join us to discover animals from the inside out. Apply dissection techniques to cow eye, sheep brain, fish and rat.

Doing science with disney — July 24–28
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 19–23 AND 26–30
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.

Exploring ecosystems — June 12–16
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 19–22
Grades 3–5
Energy is all around us — and this camp will prove it like never before. Students will use common household or hardware items to study and create mini-projects that can be taken home for keeps! Science concepts that my be explore include sounds and light waves, color and optics, electricity and magnets, winds and solar power, heat and temperature.

Geo camp: Michigan's mysterious history  — July 24–27
Grades 3–6
The secrets of Michigan’s history lie right beneath your feet! Come discover whether or not Michigan’s past was filled with volcanoes, mountains, glaciers or oceans. Using field trips, lab equipment and lots of rocks, we'll uncover Michigan’s mysteries from thousands of years ago.

Movie Making 1.0— June 12–15 AND jULY 24–27
Grades 4–6
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 documentary movie.

PRE-HISTORIC PLANET — JuNE 26–29
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.

Roller Coaster Science — June 12–15
Grades 3–6
Roller coaster science will bring out creativity in everyone as campers will explore how to build ramps, runs and machines as well as how to make small adjustments and problem solve. Each project lets campers explore a specific scientific concept that will impact the coasters they build.

Science of art — July 17–21
Grades 3–6
Did you know scientific discoveries made new colors, materials and designs possible for artists? 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 12–16 and July 24–28

Grades 3–5
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.

SPACE CAMP — JuLY 17–21
Grades 3–5

SUPER SCIENCE SAMPLER — JuLY 10–14
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, Pirates Cove and others.

SUPERHERO SCIENCE — July 17–20
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 ENGINEERs —  July 10–14
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 12–16 and July 17–21
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. Who doesn't love Legos?

Videogame making with scratch — JuLY 10–14
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 — June 12–16
Grades 6–8

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.

CLASSIC CARTOONING: A GOOGENIUS CAMP — JUly 17–21
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.

Crazy Chemistry — JuNE 26–30
Grade 6–9
Calling all chemists! Come explore elements, chemical and physical properties, solutions, polymers, states of matter and more in this week-long immersion in all things chemistry. Who doesn’t love liquid nitrogen, dry ice and exploding hydrogen balloons?

Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels: A GooGenius Camp — July 17–20
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.

DIVE DEEPER into Dissection — JuLY 24–28
Grades 6–8

Hone your future skills as a surgeon! Explore deeper and advance your dissection skills through comparative anatomy of animals from different classes with and without backbones! You will apply your dissection skills to squid, fish, frog, pigeon and fetal pig.

Exploring Ecosystems — June 12–16
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.

EV3 Lego Mindstorms aDVANCED— July 17–21
Grades 6–12
Loved EV3 Basics Camp? Come get new programming challenges based on FIRST Lego League prior competitions and do more exploration into sensors and build new robots in this camp! 
**Camp intended for students with prior Mindstorms experience

INVENTING IN 3D — June 26–29
Grades 5–9
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 1.0 — JUne 12–15 andjuly 24–27
Grades 4–6
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 documentary movie.

Movie Making 2.0 — July 17–21
Grades 7–9
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 documentary movie at a higher level.

NEUROSCIENCEJune 12–15
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 minds.

Science olympiad – crime buster skills — July 10–14
Grades 6–9
Come to the camp to learn critical skills to help you be successful in the Science Olympiad Crime Busters event or if you just like solving mysteries in a fun and engaging way. Specific areas of focus will be:

  • Qualitative analysis of powders, non-powdered metals and liquids
  • Paper chromatography
  • Polymer testing identification of hair, fiber and recyclable plastics
  • Crime scene physical evidence — fingerprinting

TAKING COMMAND OF CIRCUITS — July 24–28
Grades 6–9
Electronics are all around us — be part of creating them! Practice the logic of programming, explore how your favorite technologies use information, and build your own electronic circuits.

Websites and animation
Grades 6–9 
What’s behind those websites and games you love? Pull back the curtain on technology and learn to program your own websites and animations. Camp uses free software that can be continued to be used at home after camp! No experience necessary.

Wonders of the Watershed — June 19–23
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)

CLASSIC CARTOONING: A GOOGENIUS CAMP — JUly 17–21
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 and Graphic Novels: A GooGenius Camp — July 17–20
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 Advanced— July  17–21
Grades 6–12
Loved EV3 Basics Camp? Come get new programming challenges based on FIRST Lego League prior competitions and do more exploration into sensors and build new robots in this camp! 
**Camp intended for students with prior Mindstorms experience.

Movie Making 2.0 — July 17–21
Grades 7–9
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 documentary movie at a higher level.

NEUROSCIENCEJune 12–15
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 minds!

Nursing, Health Professions and Human Performance — June 19-23 (Full Day)
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 12–16
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.

Research Experience biology –  Bird communication – June 26–30 (full day)
Grades 10–12 
Participants will use field and laboratory theory and techniques to understand the impact of sound pollution on bird communication. The campers will explore the characteristics of sound through the use of sound analysis software. Campers will be able to choose the characteristic of sound they are most interested in to create a sound propagation study to understand the effect of the environment on the way sound travels by recording bird sounds in different habitats ranging from downtown Holland to more rural areas. Campers will also gain knowledge of sensory pollution, animal communication, how animal studies are carried out and governed, and will have the opportunity to travel to a bird trapping site. Outside of lab and field work, students will also participate in relevant journal article reading and discussion and will prepare a research poster to show their work. Campers must have completed a year of high school to apply.

Research Experience — Photovoltaic fabrication/renewable energy — July 10–14 (full day)
Grades 10–12 
Participants will experience the laboratory theory and techniques to fabricate their own simple dye-sensitized solar cell. The campers will explore photovoltaic energy and electronics through the use of pre-made silicone mini-modules, storage batteries and other electronic components. The hands-on nature of the experiments will provide participants an up-close look at photovoltaics and their operation. Outside of lab work, students will also participate in journal article reading and discussion, testing protocol development, data analysis and preparing a research poster showing their work. Campers must have completed a year of high school to apply.

TAKING COMMAND OF CIRCUITS — July 24–28
Grades 6–9
Electronics are all around us — be part of creating them! Practice the logic of programming, explore how your favorite technologies use information, and build your own electronic circuits.

WEBSITES AND ANIMATION — July 17–20
Grades 6–9 
What’s behind those websites and games you love? Pull back the curtain on technology and learn to program your own websites and animations. Camp uses free software that can be continued to be used at home after camp! No experience necessary.

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. All campers, regardless of age, staying on campus during lunchtime must register for safety concerns.

Lunch is not provided. Due to allergies, please do not send items containing peanut products with your camper.

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.

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