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2007 Annual Report

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Van Andel Education

Van Andel Education Institute

Science on Saturday Impact Science on Saturday engages the community in science education by inviting two-person teams of students and adults to participate in one two-hour Saturday session. The first sessions were held on Saturday, October 13, 2007. Teams rotated between three stations: lab, bearded dragon area, and turtle area. In the lab, students and adults investigated organisms such as crayfish, hissing cockroaches, millipedes, and pill bugs. At all stations, they used tools such as microscopes, probes, and balances to answer questions about the organisms (How much do they weigh? How long are they? What do they like to eat? What is their body temperature? How do they move?). Expanded sessions will be offered in 2008 due to popular demand. By including a parent or other significant adult in students’ lives (grandparent, aunt, uncle, guardian, mentor, etc.), Science on Saturday brings the Science Academy’s offerings full circle. Students, teachers, and now role models are all engaged in science education, and are receiving the tools necessary to advance students toward careers in science. Through these and future programs, VAEI staff analyzes how students learn science; the goal is to share this knowledge with other educators, making a national impact. “This is an ongoing research laboratory,” said VAEI Associate Director Marcia Bishop. “Everything we do is intentional and designed around how people learn.” Improving science education and increasing the number of students who choose careers in science will help to reverse the findings of numerous national studies that conclude that the United States is losing its preeminent position in science and technology. “Everything we do is intentional and designed around how people learn.” —Marcia Bishop, VAEI Associate Director VAEI Science Academy www.vai.org 37

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