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11 months ago

2013 Annual Report

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17 GIVE TODAY AT

17 GIVE TODAY AT VAI.ORG/GIVE Jason Dunn and Brooke

Science Academy Innovation in the Classrooms When Jason Dunn, a fifth-grade teacher, first became involved with Van Andel Education Institute five years ago, he had no idea just how much it would influence his career and his classroom. Dunn, along with other West Michigan teachers, was invited to the Science Academy to hear about the program’s mission and learn how educators can play an instrumental role in inquiry-based science education, a model that encourages critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration. “The Science Academy’s goal is to get students to think and act like scientists.”–Jason Dunn “The Science Academy’s goal is to get students to think and act like scientists, and through this process you actually see them applying those skills, as opposed to other students who skim a textbook in search of an answer,” said Dunn. Having successfully completed the three-year training program, Dunn now implements the model on a daily basis. Much like the work conducted by biomedical researchers at Van Andel Research Institute, the students in Dunn’s class address questions through a number of investigations that allow them to ask scientific questions, hypothesize answers and make their own discoveries. Student Brooke is living proof. “I thought science was just reading books and writing stuff down on paper,” said Brooke, one of Dunn’s current fifth-grade students. “Science is really fun in his class because you get to do a lot of different experiments. At first I thought I wouldn’t like science, but now it’s fun!” In a world where science and technology are pushing innovation at an exponential rate, children are part of the next generation of students who need critical thinking and problem-solving skills to succeed. Teachers who are using the teaching model created by Van Andel Education Institute’s Science Academy develop their students’ practical science skills and knowledge at an early age. EXPANDING INFLUENCE The Science Academy is changing the lives of every teacher and student it touches and is thrilled at the success of its programs. But there’s more to be done. Plans include expanding middle and high school student and professional development programming, but additional resources are required to make that vision a reality. Van Andel Education Institute depends on your support to help teach more teachers and students to engage with “I thought science was just reading books and writing stuff down on paper…at first I thought I wouldn’t like science, but now it’s fun!”–Brooke science in new ways. Your gift expands program access, acquires new equipment and inspires students who might become the scientists to make the discoveries that change the course of cancer and disease treatment. Change the life of a student today at vai.org/give. Milestones 14 Van Andel Education Institute’s inquirybased instructional process QPOE2 ® (Question, Prediction, Observation, Evaluation, Explanation) impacted 14 school districts and three intermediate school districts. 500+ More than 500 teachers were trained in Van Andel Education Institute’s QPOE2 ® instructional process. 500+ More than 500 students attended Van Andel Education Institute’s Science Academy. Van Andel Education Institute depends on your support to help students, like Brooke, engage in science in new ways. science academy van andel education institute 18

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