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2021 Annual Report

  • Text
  • Science
  • Michigan
  • Education
This is the 2021 Annual Report for Van Andel Institute.

Creating classrooms

Creating classrooms where curiosity, creativity and critical thinking thrive Van Andel Institute for Education is dedicated to creating classrooms where curiosity, creativity and critical thinking thrive. Our educators develop inquiry-based approaches for K–12 education to help students and teachers prepare the next generation of problem-solvers. VAI for Education offers engaging programs for students, as well as transformative professional development and instructional tools for teachers. Our team is committed to promoting a high-quality education for all children. Through our programs, students engage in authentic learning experiences and inquiry-based education, during which they solve real-world problems. Our educators work diligently to make the classroom a place where both students and teachers want to be. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Flex PD: VAI’s popular Flex PD is a comprehensive, affordable professional development model that promotes tangible shifts in instruction for teachers and administrators. Our plans are customizable to fit educators’ individual needs, and include immersive workshops, learning sessions and coaching. Science on the Grand: Science on the Grand: A STEAM Conference for Inquiry-based Educators brings teachers and administrators to the Institute for two days of professional development breakout sessions. The conference is designed to provide research-based and classroom-tested content that supports educators. After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Science on the Grand returns in summer 2022. INSTRUCTIONAL TOOLS Blue Apple TM : Blue Apple project-based learning units launched in 2019. These ready-made lessons for K–8 teachers bring project-based learning to life in the classroom. Project-based learning is a proven educational model that applies a problem-focused, multidisciplinary approach to learning. One project can develop students’ skills in science, math, English language arts and social studies, as well as skills like social and emotional learning. Each Blue Apple project includes engaging lessons designed to make learning memorable, meaningful and fun. Educators are provided with supplies, access to a Project Coach (to ask questions and share ideas), links to online resources and the opportunity to connect with other classrooms doing the same projects. Example projects include “Prevent the Spread,” “What’s In Your Water?” and “High Energy.” Blue Apple Timely Topics: In addition to the main catalog of Blue Apple projects, VAI rolled out a series of free, 15-minute mini-lessons called Timely Topics. These lessons are designed to help teachers bring relevant content to the classroom. In 2021, topics included “Celebrating Black History Month,” “Respectful Debate” and “Spooktacular STEAM.” NexGen Inquiry Quests: New for 2021, NexGen Inquiry Quests are story-driven video lessons that capture student interest by introducing them to real-world problems they can solve with hands-on, scientific investigations. Each Quest includes three inquiry-based investigations that help students exercise critical and creative thinking, collaboration with peers, and the application of solutions that will make the world a better place. In one Quest, students play the role of an electrical engineer who is troubleshooting a power outage. In another, students learn “crime scene” forensics to locate a reptile that’s gone “missing” from VAI’s classrooms. 30 (AT LEFT & RIGHT) STUDENTS WORKING TOGETHER AT VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE FOR EDUCATION

EDUCATION Transforming instruction for 140,000+ students in 50 states and 33 countries Professional development services provided to 1,673 educators Inquiry-based learning experiences provided to 1,566 students 8,000+ educator subscribers receive instructional resources monthly 31

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