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.

How do I know if a workshop is cancelled due to inclement weather?

VAEI follow’s the inclement weather cancellation policy of Grand Rapids Public Schoos. If Grand Rapids Public Schools are closed due to inclement weather, VAEI student and teacher programs will also be closed. Click here for more information on Grand Rapids Public School closings. 

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 resource for inquiry-based science. 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 includes the following to support your success with inquiry-based teaching and learning in your classroom:

  • Content – Choose from a variety of NGSS-aligned, downloadable and customizable inquiry-based lessons.
  • Classroom – Assign lessons and connect with your students with our interactive Teacher Classroom and Student Science Journal.
  • Support – Extend learning with the hundreds of strategies in our Resource Library and ask questions, share ideas, explore best practices, and collaborate with fellow science and engineering teachers in our Teacher Community.