High School Journal Club

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 VARI 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 Education Institute (VAEI) 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 VARI 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 VARI 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:
  • Who: High school teachers and their selected students
  • Where: Van Andel Education Institute, 216 N Division Ave., Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • When: November – February, 2017-2018
  • Time commitment: (4) six hour sessions; 1 session per month
    *Teachers must also attend an orientation prior to the start of HSJC
  • Class size: 30 students total
    *Number of students per school varies based on number of participating schools
  • Cost: Free 
    *Program costs are underwritten by Van Andel Institute

Registration is open from March-August. Contact us at information@vaei.org or 616.234.5528 if you are interested in bringing your students to VAEI for HSJC or to inquire about program details.