Forensic science chemistry camp includes access to sophisticated equipment



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications


April 3, 2015 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. High school students will take chemistry lessons out of the textbook and into the laboratory in Grand Rapids Community College’s forensic science chemistry camp.

GRCC’s physical sciences department, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation, created the free camp to provide area high school students with the opportunity to use instruments such as gel electrophoresis, infrared spectroscopy and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to tackle the chemistry in a simulated “crime.”

“It’s more hands-on — definitely way more fun than a chemistry classroom where you just sit there and take notes,” said one student who attended the camp last summer. “With this camp you got to do things and you got to participate and it was really, really fun.”

Chemistry professor Jennifer Batten, head of the physical sciences department, said the chance to use sophisticated, professional equipment really excites students.

“Students don’t normally get to see — much less actually use — the technologies they will see at our camp,” she said.

This summer’s camp will be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays, in two sessions: July 6 to 10 and July 13 to 17. Enrollment is limited to 18 students per session, and Batten warned that openings disappear quickly. For a camp application, click here. Students must also write a 300- to 400-word essay that addresses why they are interested in science, why they would like to attend the camp and what role they think science will play in their future career.

Applications will be accepted until spots are filled; you will be notified about camp acceptance by email within one week of the application being received. Completed application packets should be sent to: Jennifer Batten, Physical Sciences Department, GRCC, 143 Bostwick Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. More detailed camp information will be sent to attendees in mid-June.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.