Hope College is placing expanded emphasis on science outreach for area children as work on the college's new science center progresses.
Hope has operated a science museum, hosted summer science camps and school-year science clubs, and worked with area home-school students for several years. Some 700 area students are anticipated for the camps this summer, and in recent years the science museum has hosted about 1,800 area students annually.
With the new science center scheduled for completion with the start of classes this fall and the subsequent renovation of the existing Peale Science Center over the next year, the college is already exploring additional opportunities.
The outreach initiative is being coordinated by Juliane Lenon, who graduated from Hope in May with a science composite major and elementary education certification. Through the new part-time position, Lenon is responsible both for working with the existing programs and developing new ones during both the school year and summer.
The college is running 18 week-long science camps on campus between June 10 and July 18. Topics range from the "Prehistoric Planet" to "Space and Rocketry" to "The Mystery of Pharaoh's Treasure" and "Robo-Tech," with the camps grouped by age level, kindergarten through ninth grade. This year, Hope is also offering "The Mystery of Pharaoh's Treasure" and "Robo-Tech" in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo between July 28 and August 15.
Currently located in the Peale Science Center, the science museum will soon close temporarily and then move into the renovated science center a year from now. Opening soon, on the third floor of the new building's atrium, will be a related display: a collection of 110 waterfowl prepared and donated to Hope by the late Dr. Jack Moermond, a 1956 Hope graduate from Midland.
Other areas of expansion include working with the Children's After School Achievement (CASA) program, which is housed at Hope; establishing other after-school programs; and exploring connections with other community youth organizations.
Those interested in suggesting possible collaborations and opportunities, or in learning more about Hope's current efforts, can contact Lenon by calling (616) 395-7628 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Summer camp and science club information is also available online at www.hope.edu/academic/chemistry.
In addition to the museum and related outreach space, the new science center will house the college's departments of biology, chemistry, geological and environmental sciences, nursing and psychology. A part of the "Legacies: A Vision of Hope" fund-raising effort, the $36 million project includes both the construction of an 85,900 square foot building and the renovation of the 72,800-square-foot Peale Science Center, built in 1973. Even though the new building will open this fall, Hope is continuing to raise money to complete funding for both the new construction and the renovation of Peale.