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Highlighting Our Partners: Van Andel Education Institute

December 05, 2018

The Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI), is an independent nonprofit organization located in Grand Rapids. Its focus is on biomedical research and science education as they seek to better the lives of current and future generations. The GVSU CSO has partnered with the VAEI to establish more educational opportunities for K-12 students in GVSU charter schools. Teachers can take advantage of the following student programs that the organization provides:


Field Trips

VAEI offers hands-on scientific investigations for students and teachers. Participants will receive the opportunity to speak with Van Andel Research Institute scientists and observe them at work in the demonstration lab. The field trip can range from 2 to 4 hours depending on grade level and content. Up to 30 students and a teacher can attend and is only $10 a person and is offered for students K-12. There are over 32 enriching programs to choose from that range from magnets, space, electricity to DNA fingerprints!

Time commitment: 2 – 4 hours (dependent on grade and content)

Class size : Up to 30 students and a teacher

Cost: $10 per student, $200 minimum

  • *Costs may vary for customized field experiences.


High School Journal Club

This program stresses the importance of evaluating the credibility of new research. Students will collaborate with others to create solutions to challenging problems while maintaining a “healthy skepticism.” The program helps students read, analyze, collaborate, present, and discuss scientific journal articles and will set students up for future success. This free program requires teachers to enroll and then select students to participate.  

Who: High school teachers and their selected students

  • *Please note: teachers enroll in this program and then select students to participate with them. Individual students may not register for this program at this time.

When: October 2018 – January 2019

Time commitment: (4) six hour sessions; 1 session per month

  • *Teachers must also attend an orientation prior to the start of HSJC

Cost: Free

  • *Program costs are underwritten by Van Andel Institute


Afterschool Cohort

This free 4 month long program provides an encouraging environment for 5th and 6th graders to think like scientists and engineers. The Cohort meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Application is now open for spring of 2019!

Who: Students enrolled in 5th and 6th grade in Spring 2019

When: Tuesday, January 15 – Thursday, April 25, 2019, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Science On Saturday

This program is an opportunity for teams (made up of a student and adult) to experience thinking and acting like a scientist together. There are different groups offered so that everyone 1st grade to 8th grade can participate! Each team is $20 but there are scholarships available for those on reduced lunch programs.

Who: Students enrolled in 1st-8th grade

Cost: $20 total per team (student and adult)

  • Scholarships available for students eligible for reduced lunch


Summer Camp

This program encourages 2nd through 12th graders to think and act like scientists through investigations! VAEI offers subjects ranging from Candy Crush with Gel Electrophoresis to Engineering Design Challenge with Robotics. 2018 and 2019 programs are up online now!

Who: Students enrolled in 2nd-12th

Cost : please contact the VAEI

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Page last modified December 5, 2018