Frequently Asked Questions

Is Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI) a school?

VAEI is not a school. It is an innovation laboratory for teacher professional development and a variety of student programming that informs the development of instructional models and related tools.

How do I get my child involved in High School Journal Club (HSJC)?

HSJC is designed for teachers to bring a select group of their students in to participate in scientific discourse with scientists and other teachers and students from different schools. VAEI sends out invites to teachers and then the teachers can select the students. Parents cannot sign their kids up without a teacher being involved. 

How do I sign my child/class up for a Field Experience?

Field Experiences are set up by the teacher for a class. A parent cannot sign up and individual student. To set up a time to get your class into the VAEI innovation laboratory, please email information@vaei.org or call 616.234.5528.

How can I participate in Science on Saturday (SOS)?

SOS is designed for an adult and child to participate as a team. For more detailed information visit our dedicated SOS page. To sign up, please email information@vaei.org or call 616.234.5528.

Who do I contact for Professional Development opportunities?

Please email information@vaei.org or call 616.234.5228.

Can I help support teachers and students through the efforts of Van Andel Education Institute?

Of course you can. Any monetary donation to our student programs will be used directly to support student participation. None of it will be used for administrative costs. If you are interested in supporting teachers, all donations will be used to purchase the NexGen Inquiry® web-based platform, which will in turn help students, or be used for future development and enhancements of the platform.

What is NexGen Inquiry®?

NexGen Inquiry is an interactive, web-based platform for teachers to organize student-centered scientific inquiry and engineering design investigations. Built by teachers for teachers, NexGen Inquiry is the result of over a decade of work with students and science educators at Van Andel Education Institute in Grand Rapids, MI.

NexGen Inquiry provides access to three related tools to support your success:

  • Teacher Classroom – secure, cloud-based system allowing you to easily manage student, small group and class projects using web-based Student Journals.
  • Teacher Community – interactive forums for you to ask questions, share ideas, explore best practices, and collaborate with fellow science and engineering teachers.
  • Resource Library – support materials, investigation templates, and time-saving ideas to support your integration of NexGen Inquiry technology and classroom practice as a whole.