Explore chemistry through Chem Camps at Calvin University!

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!

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 current university professors and other experienced 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!

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, special provisions and regulations have been put into place. In order to offer an excellent camp experience while maintaining a safe and secure environment, parents and guardians need to review the information below with the understanding that we expect that campers will adhere to these procedures as they participate in the camp program:

1) The Chem Camps program will be offered in reduced capacity for the Summer 2021 session. Each camp session (I, II, and III) will be limited to 16 safely-spaced lab stations.

2) Each camper will have an assigned lab space which will contain a dedicated set of equipment and supplies. Circulation of students throughout the lab space and the sharing of equipment will be controlled. In addition, laboratory ventilation hoods will be utilized to maximized air circulation.  

3) Masks are required AT ALL TIMES, for all laboratory activities.

4) No food or drink will be allowed within the lab space.

*NOTE- Further plans for the Chem Camp program offered during Summer 2021 are currently underway; changes to the program may occur in light of information received from Calvin University's Administration. Please check back on this site for any relevant updates and news regarding program offerings. 

Spaces are filling quickly for all sessions of the Chem Camps program! If you find that all spaces have been filled at the time of your interest, you are welcome to reach out to Erika Purcell-Williams (eap2@calvin.edu) to request  addition to the "Waitlist". If an opening in a "Chem Camp" session becomes available, we will be sure to contact you with further information about participation (based upon a "first come, first served" order).

Thank you for your interest...and patience! (Updated 6/9/21) 


Erika Purcell-Williams

Erika Purcell-Williams

Administrative Assistant
Full profile


Date, Time, Cost

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


Larry Louters—Calvin University, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry

Summer 2021- Dates

  • Session I - 6/21/21 through 6/25/21 (9:30a - 12:00p)
  • Session II - 6/28/21 through 7/2/21 (9:30a - 12:00p)
  • Session III - 7/12/21 through 7/16/21 (9:30a - 12:00p)


  • $195 - 1 camp space
  • $300 - per 1 "Lab pod" (A "Lab Pod" is a section within the laboratory dedicated to a maximum of 2 campers from the SAME household ONLY. These campers will be able to work with one another throughout the camp session on various activities. Please contact Erika Purcell-Williams (eap2@calvin.edu)  with further questions about this specific offering.)

Please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/calvin-university-chem-camps-2021-tickets-154631098779?aff=ebdssbdestsearch to access registration. Having problems accessing this link? Please visit www.Eventbrite.com and type in "Calvin College Chem Camps 2021" in the 'Search' bar to be redirected to the registration page.


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.