High School Journal Club

An important aspect of the day-to-day work of scientists at Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) 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 Van Andel Research Institute Journal Club is a process for scientific discourse that provides participants with opportunities to hone these skills while reviewing current research.

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

Student Outcomes

Short Term Outcomes

  • Foster interaction between high school students and VARI scientists.
  • 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. 

Long Term Outcomes1057-004

  • Motivate student interest in selecting and pursuing careers in science.

Through direct interaction with leading scientific researchers in a world-class facility, parents can expect to see students who are excited about science and enthused about the prospect of pursuing a career in science. This enthusiasm will increase student motivation and engagement, and their desire to pursue higher- level science courses in high school and college. Students will also have the opportunity to connect and build relationships with like- minded peers.


Contact us at information@vaei.org or 616.234.5528 for more information.