Views
11 months ago

2017 Fall Highlights of Hope

  • Text
  • Andel
  • Institute
  • Highlights
  • Scientists
  • Michigan
  • Schweigert
  • Colvin
  • Jboard
  • Bergsma
  • Brundin
  • Vai.org

EDUCATION SCIENCE! THE

EDUCATION SCIENCE! THE CURE TO THE SUMMERTIME BLUES Elementary and middle school students embarked on a new adventure during Van Andel Education Institute’s (VAEI) inaugural summer camp program held in June and July. These week-long camps provided young scientists with a fun, collaborative, hands-on environment where they could let their curiosity run free. Campers spent their days working together, asking questions, designing experiments and exploring animal behavior and environmental issues facing our planet. “The camps are all about students experiencing the things they read about in books and letting them take an active role in the learning process...” - Lisa Neeb “The camps are all about students experiencing the things they read about in books and letting them take an active role in the learning process,” said VAEI Instructional Specialist, Lisa Neeb. “We really want students to be inspired by science and the natural world. Hopefully, they will take what they love learning about here and keep building on that initial spark of inspiration.” Neeb and the VAEI team are already planning next year’s camp experience. They hope to grow the program and introduce even more campers to the joy of scientific discovery. 4 TH AND 5 TH GRADE STUDENTS AT SUMMER CAMP. 16 | VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE HIGHLIGHTS OF HOPE

TO COOKIES AND BEYOND Van Andel Education Institute Brings Girl Scouts to Space Girl Scouts aren’t just selling delicious cookies anymore—they have their eyes on the stars. In early June, a group of 18 fourth and fifth grade Girl Scouts participated in a week-long NASA-sponsored day camp at Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI), where they learned about living and working in space. Girl Scouts from across West Michigan participated in the camp that featured curriculum developed by NASA and guidance from VAEI’s instructors. Lisa Neeb, VAEI Instructional Specialist, always wanted to work with the Girl Scouts, and when the partnership with NASA became a possibility, she thought it was a perfect opportunity to connect the dots. “It’s really great to see the girls excited about science, and during the camp there is a real feeling of girl power, which as a science educator is something I am all about,” Neeb said. “Women are still underrepresented in science-focused careers, so I think it’s important to offer a camp where girls can feel empowered to explore their interest in science and technology.” During the three-hour-a-day, four-day camp, Girl Scouts explored astronomy, physics and technology in ways that were both creative and engaging. Through a series of hands-on activities, they examined space travel and navigation of the solar system, rocket science and how living and working in space might affect the human body. “We simulated what going to space would be like, built astronaut suits, modeled our own solar systems made out of toilet paper, launched foam rockets and created a meteor shower with space debris,” Neeb said. “The girls were ingenious.” The campers also met and spoke with an engineer from NASA as well as scientists from Van Andel Research Institute. Neeb said the experience was both inspirational and affirmational for students just beginning their relationship with science. “Having the girls meet with real representatives from NASA and scientists was an incredibly important part of the camp, because they could see how what they learn now can lead to a career in science or engineering,” she said. “Meeting these experts shows all the possibilities that are out there for young women interested in science. Knowing that they can be whatever they want to be is very powerful for them.” “It’s really great to see the girls excited about science, and during the camp there is a real feeling of girl power, which as a science educator is something I am all about.” - Lisa Neeb Neeb is encouraged by the first collaborative partnership between the Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore, NASA and VAEI, and she hopes to continue to foster similar partnerships with other organizations. “It’s exciting to think that we can work with others to expand our student programming outside of the life science and biodiversity we traditionally offer,” Neeb said. “I think we will continue to look for more ways to collaborate with national science organizations, community groups, non-profits, museums and zoos in order to continue to provide diverse, creative learning experiences for our students.” GIRL SCOUTS EXPLORING AT CAMP. VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE HIGHLIGHTS OF HOPE | 17

Publications by Year