Explore chemistry this summer!

Calvin's department of chemistry and biochemistry day camp program, "Chem Camps," feature demonstrations and hands-on experiments designed to teach introductory chemical concepts using fun and entertaining methods.

Chem Camps tackles sophisticated topics—like acids and bases, fat analysis of foods, and reactivity of metals—in a fun and intellectually challenging way. This isn't your regular science class; students should be ready to test, move, shake, drop, throw, challenge, and grow through these Chem Camp activities! Questions? chemistry@calvin.edu

This program is designed for students who are entering the 6th, 7th, or 8th grade this upcoming school year. Students work under the leadership and direction of a university professor and experienced high school chemistry teachers and staff as they learn about the wonders of the world of chemistry. Learning chemistry through participating in interactive, hands-on experiments while making new friendships with other chemistry lovers is an excellent way to spend time this summer. Participants can expect lots of excitement during these great camps!

Get a glimpse of Chem Camps!


Larry Louters

Larry Louters

Professor Emeritus
Full profile

About Camp


Experiments and topics

  • Physical properties of matter: states of matter, density, fun with gases, CO2 cannons
  • Polymers: experiments with slime, superballs, and silly putty
  • Mixtures: properties of solutions, foam, and gels
  • Chemical reactions: acid/base reactions and reduction/oxidation reactions
  • Separations: chromatography and extraction

Register for Chemistry Camp

  • Session A
    June 17–21, 2024
    9:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
    Grades 6th–8th
  • Session B
    June 17–21, 2024
    1:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
    Grades 6th–8th
  • Session C
    June 24–June 28, 2024
    9:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
    Grades 6th–8th
  • Session D
    June 24–June 28, 2024
    1:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
    Grades 6th–8th
  • Session E
    July 8–July 12, 2024
    9:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
    Grades 6th–8th

NOTE: morning sessions (A, C, E) and afternoon sessions (B, D) cover similar topics, but have different activities.


  • $220: single registration (may work alone or be paired with another camper)
  • $390: paired reigstration (2 siblings or friends who are able to work together safely at the same lab station)

  • Larry Louters—Calvin University, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry
  • Matt Christians—Grands Rapids Christian Schools
  • Heather Alexander—City High School


Registration and confirmation

Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, with notifications of acceptance sent by email. Applications received after June 1st will be honored only if space is available and placed on a wait list, based on the date received by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. If a spot opens up for a camper, applicants will be notified as soon as possible regarding the opportunity.

Cancellation policy

Prior to June 1st, 90% of the camp fee will be refunded upon receipt of a written request for cancellation. After June 1st, refund requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis; the camp program director (Prof. Larry Louters) will determine all final decisions regarding refunds. The college may cancel or postpone any session because of insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. If a session is cancelled or postponed by the university, the university will refund 100% of registration fees.


All instruction, supervision, equipment/materials, lab supplies, and a T-shirt are covered by the fee. Snacks and lunches are not provided.


Activities and demonstrations in these programs are designed to be safe and students are taught standard laboratory safety techniques. However, the university does not provide insurance for its camps and its liability must be based on fault. Health and insurance information will be required from all participants.