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Have you ever wanted to speed up chemical reactions using catalysts? Do you want to isolate DNA? Do you want to learn about the chemistry of cooking?

Explore chemistry as you make molecules, model chemical reactions and measure the changes you can’t see with your eyes.

For youth ages 9–12 at the time of the camp. Mature 12-year old youth that have completed a full year of junior high can submit an application to biochem camp.


Session 1 (ages 9 - 10)
June 23–26
8:30 a.m. to noon daily
20 openings (10 boys, 10 girls)
Session 2 (ages 9 - 10)
June 23–26
1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily
20 openings (10 boys, 10 girls)
Session 3 (ages 11 - 12)
July 7–8
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily
20 openings (10 boys, 10 girls)
Session 4 (ages 11 - 12)
July 9–10
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily
20 openings (10 boys, 10 girls)


Ages 9–10 $135; Ages 11–12 $145
Generous donors have made tuition scholarships available. If you currently cannot afford the registration fee, please apply and indicate that you need a tuition scholarship.

Students working in lab


  • Participate in chemistry experiments with close mentoring from BYU students and professors.
  • Explore chemistry as the central science, and its relationship to physics, biology, and medicine.
Students working in lab


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    Who may participate in a Chem Camp?
    For ages 9–12 at the time of the camp.
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    How are applicants selected?
    BYU Chem Camps are committed to ensuring that high quality science experiences are available to all members of our community. Equal numbers of girls and boys participate in each camp.
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    When will the Chem Camps take place?
    There will be four sessions.
    • SESSION 1 (ages 9–10): June 23-26, 8:30 a.m. to noon
    • SESSION 2 (ages 9–10): June 23-26, 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • SESSION 3 (ages 11–12):July 7-8, 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (lunch provided)
    • SESSION 4 (ages 11–12): July 9-12, 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (lunch provided)
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    What if I have children of slightly different ages? Can they attend together?
    Due to the nature of the experiments conducted, we cannot allow youth to attend sessions that are not for their age.
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    What do the Chem Camps cost?
    Chem Camp (ages 9–10) Registration fee is $105.

    Chem Camp (ages 11-12) Registration fee is $105.

    The cost includes experiments, activities, and supplies (goggles, lab coat, lunch each day (full-day camps), etc.), and personal instruction from BYU counselors. Families in financial need (eligible for free or reduced-cost lunches) can apply for a tuition scholarship to cover registration. Scholarships are made available by very generous private donors and the Central Utah Section of the American Chemical Society. The cost of the camps is heavily subsidized by private donors and the BYU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.
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    What if my child wants to attend a session with a friend/sibling/cousin?
    If two campers both want to attend a specific session of BYU Chem Camp together, please make a note of it on the application form. We will do our best to accommodate these requests.
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    What activities will campers be doing?
    Chem Camp (ages 9–12)

    Campers will participate in hands-on lab activities each day. For example, during the 9-10 camps experiments include synthesizing polymers for bouncy balls, quantifying how much vitamin C is in a tablet, making cheese, and testing how much baking soda will make the best pancakes. During the 11-12 camps, experiments include ester synthesis, titrations, electrolysis, chromatography, macromolecule testing, and caffeine isolation. During all of these experiments appropriate safety measures will be followed, and a dedicated BYU student counselor will supervise every four campers.
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    What are the requirements to attend BYU Chem Camps?
    Each prospective attendee must fill out a short application to attend a BYU Chem Camp. Upon acceptance applicants must register and pay the registration fee. For students eligible for free or reduced-cost school lunches, a fee tuition scholarship is available. Email for more information abut a tuition scholarship.
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    What is the daily schedule for Chem Camps?
    Chem Camp

    SESSIONS 1 and 2 are for 9–10 year olds and will be 3.5 hours each day for four days.

    SESSION 1 is the morning session and begins at 8:30 a.m., ending at noon with drop off between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m. and pick up between noon and 12:15 p.m.

    SESSION 2 is the afternoon session and begins at 1:00 p.m., ending at 4:30 p.m. with drop off between 12:30 and 1:00 p.m. and pick up between 4:30 and 4:45 p.m.

    SESSIONS 3 and 4 are for 11–12 year olds and will be 6.5 hours each day for two days beginning at 9:00 a.m., ending at 3:30 p.m. with drop-off between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. and pick up between 3:30 and 3:45 p.m.

    Drop off and pick up for all sessions will be located at the south end of the BYU campus near the Botany “Duck" Pond. Snacks will be provided for all sessions, and lunches will be provided for full-day camps (sessions 3 and 4). On the last day of each session parents and families are invited to attend a culminating magic show presentation. Details about this presentation will be sent to parents by email.
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    When is the application due? When will we find out whether we have been accepted?
    Applications will remain open until April 1, 2020.

    Starting in mid-March, accepted applicants will be given instructions on how to register.

Students working in lab


How do I register for Chem Camp?

First, apply: Apply Now. Applicants will then be randomly selected to register for camp sessions. Starting in March, accepted applicants will be given instructions on how to register. You will be contact by an email from

Students working in lab


Professor Daniel Ess runs a computer simulation research group to discover the details of chemical reactions for reactions related to catalysis and energy. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers. Professor Ess teaches organic chemistry and publishes in chemical education journals.

Besides his time and passion for chemistry, Professor Ess enjoys playing and watching all sports and listening to live music.
Professor Kara Stowers studies catalyst design that will decrease the energy required for making chemicals from renewable sources. She has a diverse chemistry background that allows her to approach these challenges from a number of angles. Professor Stowers teaches both introductory general chemistry and advanced inorganic chemistry.

When she is not researching or teaching, Professor Stowers can be found hiking, snow-shoeing, or reading classic fiction.
Professor Rebecca Sansom is interested in the reasoning strategies students use in chemistry laboratory settings, and the development of self-efficacy in chemistry students. She is the coordinator for general chemistry laboratories at BYU and teaches general chemistry, general chemistry laboratory, and chemistry education courses.

Outside the classroom, Professor Sansom enjoys birding, and playing on a flag football team with other female faculty.
Professor Jennifer Nielson is actively engaged in the international chemistry education community, traveling to Uganda each summer to lead professional development courses for chemistry teachers. She teaches general, organic, and biochemistry courses at BYU, and organizes community outreach programs like the hands-on chemistry workshop for kids at the Provo library during National Chemistry Week each fall.

Professor Nielson is an avid fan of good food and her favorite chemistry is in the kitchen.
Professor Wally Paxton creates new synthetic materials that mimic natural cell membranes to help release medicines at the right place in the body. He also creates new kinds of sensors for biological organisms.

In his free time, Professor Paxton enjoys mountain biking and playing Super Smash Bros. with his boys.

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