11 months ago

2007 Annual Report

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New Programs at Science

New Programs at Science Academy Engage Students, Educators, and Community Van Andel Education Institute

The Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI) Science VAEI staff helped her to develop teaching methods that would Academy launched in 2006 with an out-of-schooltime inaugural program that leads cohorts of students challenge each child. through three years of hands-on science education. In 2007, the Science Academy added two new programs: Classroom Science Investigations and Science on Saturday. The three programs complement one another to engage students, educators, After discussion and planning sessions with Mooney, VAEI staff developed curriculum and instructional assessment strategies that they then modeled when Mooney and her class came to the Science Academy for two half-day sessions. The and the community in science Chandler Woods students and science education. learned how an organism’s form and function are related to Classroom Science Investigations its environment, and designed research to determine the environmental preferences of Classroom Science Investigations is a professional development pill bugs. In follow-up visits to the school, VAEI staff provided program for educators that supplies for students to build is unique in that the students are involved in their teacher’s professional development and their own pill bug habitats based on their research; the visits also allowed staff to learn science at the same time. observe Mooney applying “We are teaching students how what she had learned. The Above: 4th grade teacher Ruth Mooney and students, Opposite page (l to to do research and teaching students took habitats home r): Science Education Specialist Marty Coon, VAEI Associate Director Marcia teachers how to build content Bishop and Science Education Specialist Carole Johnson to continue observation and knowledge,” said VAEI Science Education Specialist Marty Coon. follow-up research and then presented what they learned at Chandler Woods. Teacher Ruth Mooney and her fourth grade students from Chandler Woods Charter Academy were the program’s first participants in May 2007. Classroom Science Investigations allows the teacher to identify his or her specific area of focus based on specific challenges. Mooney’s class was composed of a diverse array of learners, and Chandler Woods Charter Academy Assistant Principal Barbara Lindquist said that there has been enthusiastic response from students, parents, and teachers. “I’ve got excited kids who want to learn more, and teachers who want to be continuous learners,” she said. VAEI Science Academy 35

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