High School Journal Club

High School Journal Club

Due to COVID, the 2020/2021 program will be held virtually. For more information, please contact VAI at information@vaie.org.

An important aspect of the day-to-day work of scientists at Van Andel Institute for Research is to critically evaluate the validity of cutting-edge research. They must be able to work collaboratively to analyze, develop, and communicate creative solutions to complex problems while maintaining a “healthy skepticism” that keeps them from falling prey to accepting their work, or the work of others, without question. The VAI Journal Club is a process for scientific discourse that provides participants with opportunities to hone these skills while reviewing current research. In effort to promote these same skills in youth, Van Andel Institute for Education offers a High School Journal Club (HSJC) to students and teachers from multiple Grand Rapids area schools each school year.

HSJC brings students, their teachers, and scientists together in a forum for scientific discourse. Emulating the practice of VAI scientists, participants learn to collaborate and read, analyze, present, and discuss scientific journal articles in a format that is easily applied in the classroom.

High School Journal Club will:
  • Foster interaction between high school students and VAI scientists.
  • Connect and build relationships between like-minded peers.
  • Build student capacity to think and act like scientists through scientific discourse.
  • Increase student interest in taking higher-level science courses.
  • Increase student awareness of careers in science.
Program details:
The 2020/2021 program will be open for registration on June 1, 2020:
  • 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.
  • Where: Virtual for 2020–2021
  • When: October 2020 – February 2021
  • Time commitment: (5) six hour sessions; 1 session per month
    *Teachers must also attend an orientation prior to the start of HSJC
  • Class size: 28 students total
    *Number of students per school varies based on number of participating schools
  • Cost: Free
    *Program costs are underwritten by Van Andel Institute

Contact us at information@vaei.org or 616.234.5528 if you are interested in bringing your students to VAI for future HSJC or to inquire about program details.