Summer Camps

2021 Summer Camps are virtual…but they’re not what you’re thinking. (Really!)

Are your students combating ‘zoom fatigue’? Tired of them sitting at a computer screen all day? When we say Summer Camps have gone virtual, this isn’t the virtual you’re used to! Although we will connect with students throughout the day via technology, kids will be away from the screen, immersed in fun, thinking and acting like scientists, and, best of all, making new friends. We supply the materials and the fun! Register today!

2021 Elementary, Middle School, and High School Camps

Grades 2–5 | Sense-ational Animals

Join us as we explore the amazing world of animal senses. Each morning meet a resident VAI animal and learn about their extraordinary eyes, fantastic feelers, and other sense-sational senses. Learn how animals use their senses to survive in their environment and use what you learn to design your own new animals with amazing abilities! 

Some of the guided activities: 

  • Take home your own mystery organism
  • Set up and conduct your own behavioral investigations
  • Design and build a habitat for your new organism
  • Meet reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates
  • Meet a real scientist from the Van Andel Institute 
  • And much more! 

Dates: August 2 – 6
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Cost: $60
Register Now

Grades 6–8 | Hogwarts in Grand Rapids: The Science Behind the Magic

Calling all witches and wizards! Grab your brooms, or use your Floo powder, and travel to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry—Van Andel style! Immerse yourself in the world of Harry Potter as you get sorted into houses, make a magic wand, and attend courses such as Potions, Caring for Magical Creatures, History of Magic, and Broomstick Flying! Use your newfound knowledge to compete in the all new Triwizard Tournament at the end of the camp.

Some of the guided activities: 

  • Meet the Sorting Hat and let him determine the house that you belong in
  • Participate in a different Hogwarts class (including Potions, Caring for Magical Creatures and more!) each day to become a more complete witch or wizard
  • Earn House points as you compete with all the different houses of Hogwarts to win the House Cup at the end of the week
  • Use all your newfound knowledge to compete with your fellow wizards in the Triwizard Tournament at the end of the week
  • Meet a real scientist from the Van Andel Institute

Dates: August 9 – 13
Time: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Cost: $60
Register Now

Grades 6–9 | Mission to Mars


Explore the science, engineering, and technology needed to complete a mission to Mars. Learn about the red planet and why scientists are so interested in learning more about it. Build and test a rocket that will travel into space! Design a Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) to bring your crew back from space. Learn about coding and its role in space exploration and learn to code your own program. 

 Some of the guided activities: 

  • Learn about NASA’s current efforts and goals for Mars exploration
  • Design a space vehicle that will return astronauts safely back to earth
  • Design and code your own program using Scratch
  • Calculate your age and weight on Mars and find out why it is different
  • Build and test a rocket.
  • Meet a real scientist from the Van Andel Institute
  • And much more!

Dates: July 26 – 30
Time: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Cost:
$60
Register Now

Refund/Cancellation Policy
  • Full refunds will be given if requested more than 7 days before the start date of your camp.
  • Partial refunds (50% tuition) will be given if requested 7 days or less of the start date of your camp.

Want to learn more about our Summer Camps? Contact Randy Schregardus, Student Programs Manager, or fill out this form: