/ 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.

Thank you for an amazing 2017 Summer Camp Season!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Look on our main ExloreHope page for events throughout the school year.
Stop back in January for our 2018 camp listings.

2017 Camp Descriptions
NEW 3D Bio-Gear (6–12)

Prothetics, camo suits, biodegradable plastics — all developed from amazing animal adaptations. Make your own plastic, prosthetics and 3D-printed parts that are changing the way people heal.

3D Printing (9–12)

3D printers are invading every field: toys, cars, food, homebuilding and even medical. Now is the time to find out what it is all about. In this class you will learn how to not only draw and design your own creations using free CAD software (Sketchup2015), but you will also bring your creations to life using a 3D printer.

Arduino Microcontrollers (9–12)

Small electronic chips that run secret programs are hidden in everyday items. The Arduino is a platform that bridges the gap between electronics and software. In this class you will not only learn basic programming and electronics but also build devices that are hidden and can run secret codes. *Participants will take home an Arduino and parts kit at the end of the session.

Art 2D & 3D II  (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.

Children's Choir  (3–8)

Join the West Michigan Children's Choir for a week of vocal development and ensemble-building! We'll learn lots through musical games and activities, and perform a mini-concert on Thursday afternoon.

Classic Cartooning – A Googenius Camp (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 (3–5)

Explore the exciting world of animal science and care. If you want to own a pet, be a vet or work/volunteer in a pet related job, then definitely come learn about animal habitats, nutrition and health care.

Club Vet Safari (K–2)

Explore the awesome world of animals as we expand our study of our furry, feathered and scaled friends across the globe (think Lion King or Madagascar).  If you’ve wanted to be a safari guide, vet, zookeeper or start your own pet business… this is the camp for you!

Comics, Manga & Graphic Novels – A Googenius Camp (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.

Crazy Chemistry (3–5)

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?

Creepy Crawlies (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 things in between.

CSI (4–6)

How do modern day detectives put the pieces of crime scene puzzles together? Find out the tricks and high-tech gadgets used as you solve an all-new crime. Topics covered include:

  • Fingerprinting
  • DNA analysis
  • Blood typing
  • More!
Disgusting Dissection (3–5)

Discover animals from the inside out. Apply dissection techniques to organisms such as rats, earthworms, crayfish, and cow eyes, hearts and lungs.

Disgusting Dissection II (6–8)

Explore deeper and advance your dissection skills through comparative anatomy of vertebrates and invertebrates of squid, earthworms, grasshoppers, leopard frogs and fetal pigs.

NEW EV3 Basic (2–5)

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.

NEW EV3 Lego Mindstorms Challenge (Middle/High School)

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.

NEW EV3 Programming (3–5)

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.

NEW Experimental Design (for those entering 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. Develop your own research question, create the protocol and carry out your experiments. Camp is aimed for higher level high school students interested in engineering and science careers and hoping to learn how cutting-edge research is performed at the college level. Recommendation from a teacher will be required. **Will meet all the requirements for the Boy Scout Exploration Merit Badge

Exploring Energy: Make and Take Camp (3–5)

In this camp, 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.

Fantastic Flight (3–5)

Master the forces of flight as you discover the secrets of flying animals, hot air balloons, airplanes, helicopters and launch your own A8 engine rocket.

Hammer Time (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.

Harry Potter – A Vintage Camp (2–4)

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.

KinderChoir (K–2)

A Kinderchoir experience for children entering K–2nd grade. An introduction to choral music through Music Mind Games, vocal development, and age-appropriate rehearsal skills.

Lil’ Lady Lego (K–2)

The science of simple machines, construction and forces meets the design and style of the new Friends Legos. Bring your friends for a great time to explore just how fun learning with Legos can be.  

Little Bits (3–5)

Blink the light, run the motor, play the music – you are in control with these electronics that let you invent and create your own ideas. Learn the basics of electronics while making your own ideas happen. *Note: Due to the cost of materials, not all creations will be taken home.

Movie Making (3–5)

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 (6–8)

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.

Oboe and Bassoon Reed-Making Camp (6–12)

Join Hope College double reed instructors Dr. Sarah Southard, oboe, and Dr. Genevieve Beaulieu, bassoon, for a one-week class where students will learn the reed-making process from start to finish. Each day will include group instruction, time to work on reeds with help from Hope faculty, and a break from reed-making in the middle of the day to read through chamber music. Opportunities for private lessons will also be available. Camp is open to all ages of oboe and bassoon players: beginning reed makers and students with prior experience. Cost includes $20 in materials fees for cane, corks, wire, ruler and thread.

Pirates Cove (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.

Powered by Nature (6–8)

Renewable energy is talked about all around us but do you know how solar, wind, water, bio and hydrothermal energy is produced? Join us and we’ll explore the benefits, science and engineering behind these renewable sources.

Pre-Historic Planet (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.

Princess Science (K–2)

Being a princess is not all tiaras and glittery gowns. It takes a lot to run a kingdom. Come explore the magical world of gems, color spectrums, flight and fashion through the eyes of science. 

Programming and Circuits (6–10)

Electronics are all around us – want to learn to program them? Explore app inventor, simple programming logic and basic electronics. Build your own electronic circuits.

Science of Art (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.

Scratch (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.

NEW So That's How it Works! (6–8)

You use electronics, appliances and vehicles every day. Wonder how they work? You'll explore hands-on the inner workings of modern technology so you can impress your friends with your know-how.

Spy Club (3–5)

Get ready to explore what it takes to be a Secret Agent and learn the science of undercover intelligence. Basic training covers the theory and practice of surveillance, night-vision, stealth, perception/awareness, coding, self-defense and critical thinking.

Star Wars Continues (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 (K–2)

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

SuperHero Science (K–2)

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

NEW Tinker(Bell) Engineers (K–2)

Calling all tinker fairies! Want to see what you can make from lost things? Come learn how to make simple machines then create your own contraptions to make stories come to life.

Tykes Lego (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 (2–5)

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.)​

Uke Can Do It! Session 2 (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 (2016). 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.)

NEW VideoGame Making with Scratch (6–8)

Learn to design and modify your own exciting arcade-style games... control characters, objects and outcomes as you increase the difficulty level and add features.

Lunchtime supervision available

Need help during the lunch hour? Register students to join our staff for lunch between the morning and afternoon camps. Only available for students registered in both a morning and afternoon camp during the same week.

Financial Aid is Available
Our goal is to make the camps available to all interested students. Financial aid is available for those students on free and reduced lunch school programs. Contact us if you need additional information.


2017 ExploreHope Summer Staff