Science on Saturday

Science on Saturday

Please join us for Science on Saturday, a fun and exciting program for both students and adults. Experience “Thinking and Acting Like a Scientist.” Adults fully participate in all program activities.

To preview session dates and descriptions, and to register, click below. 

1st and 2nd Grade Sessions:

Sensing the World Around You
Learn about plants and animals using your senses and scientific tools to make careful observations of the organisms living at Van Andel Education Institute. Take one of the organisms home with you.

Click here to register for Session 1: March 23, 2019, 9:00 am – 10:30 am

Click here to register for Session 2: March 23, 2019, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Take it Apart
Inspired by a twisted version of Humpty Dumpty, take an object apart and use the materials to create a new object. Observe the characteristics of objects and be inspired to create something new to take home.

Click here to register for April 27, 2019, 9:00 am – 10:30 am

3rd and 4th Grade Sessions:

Engineering Design Challenge: Orion Splash Down!
Space crafts encounter rapid speeds and intense heat as they return to Earth’s atmosphere. Design a waterproof capsule that will protect your astronauts during their splashdown using every day materials. 

Click here to register for Session 1: December 8, 2018, 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Click here to register for Session 2: December 8, 2018, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Live or Die: Exploring Species Survival
See, touch, and investigate a variety of animals, from insects to bearded dragons and discover what they need to survive. Make a model habitat to take home. 

Click here to register for March 9, 2019, 9:00 am – 11:00 am

5th and 6th Grade Sessions:

Origami Microscopes
Use the practice of origami to fold and build a microscope you can carry in your pocket.  Explore the microscopic world around you with a scientific tool you can take home.

Click here to register for November 17, 2018, 9:00 am – 11:00 am

What’s for Dinner: Animal Choices and Food Chains
Investigate energy flow through a food web by observing the eating preferences of organisms. Dissect an owl pellet to learn where an owl’s energy comes from and construct a bone diagram to take home.

Click here to register for February 16, 2019, 9:00 am – 11:00 am

7th and 8th Grade Sessions:

Engineering Design Challenge: Transporting Water on Mars
Think like an engineer as you design and build a lightweight solar-powered pumping system. See which device can move water between two storage tanks the quickest.

A Living World: Exploring Life from DNA to Cells to Whole Organisms
Observe and learn to handle the plants and animals at Van Andel Education Institute as you explore whole organisms, cells and DNA! Make a DNA necklace to take home.

Click here to register for February 2, 2019, 9:00 am – 11:00 am


Van Andel Education Institute, 216 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids, 49503

Cost Information

$20.00 total per team (student and adult).
Scholarships available for students eligible for reduced lunch.

Please note, there is a minimum requirement of 5 teams for a session to take place. Space is limited to 14 teams per session. Contact us at or 616.234.5528 for more information.

Subsidized pricing for VAEI’s Science on Saturday programs are made possible by generous donations from the community. These thoughtful gifts have allowed us to impact the lives and futures of many students and we’re truly grateful.

For more information about ways you can support VAEI, please contact Teresa Reid, Major Gifts Officer, at or 616.234.5040.