Summer of STEM: Science of Harry Potter

This summer we’re hearing from our amazing camp staff. Our Hope College students do the heavy lifting of planning, prepping, and teaching our hands-on camps all summer long! Each week, 2-3 student staff members will recap a camp they’ve led and share tips on how to keep the fun going at home!

Matching the witch or wizard with the wand!

Hi, my name is Gina Polito and I was lucky enough to lead the Harry Potter camp along with Haley Galloway. We had so much fun with our wizards as we are both huge fans of Harry Potter as well. I loved being able to geek out over Harry Potter with these smart and creative campers! I had so many fun and interesting conversations this week. I even ended up learning a lot from my campers.

This week in camp, we had our wizards sorted into houses, made wands, saw owls from the Outdoor Discovery Center, played Quidditch, mixed potions, and made our own magical mandrakes. 

My favorite part of the week was the last day when we made our own Polyjuice Potion to drink while playing Harry Potter trivia. HUGE congratulations to Ravenclaw for winning the house cup and receiving the most house points! Another big congrats to Slytherin who won our Quidditch tournament!     

Wingardium Leviosa!

Did you know you can make your own magical potions at home? Fill a glass vial (or mason jar) with vegetable oil and add an eye of newt (beads), unicorn hair (fishing line), dragon’s blood ( red food dye), and mermaid scales (sequins).

This magical potion lets you test an object’s density! When you drop a new item in your potion, see which items float to the top and which sink to the bottom. The more dense objects will sink while the less dense will rise to the top! Now that’s the kind of magic ExploreHope Summer Science Camps are all about!

Earning top marks in Potions!

Visit ExploreHope Summer Camps for more info. Although many of our camps are full, there are still openings for all ages. Scholarships are available for middle and high school students interested in environmental and engineering topics. Contact Lise at for more information, including questions about transportation options.

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