13 months ago

20th Anniversary Highlights of Hope

  • Text
  • Hope
  • Institute
  • Scientific
  • Highlights
  • Epigenetics
  • Scientists
  • Michigan


SCIENCE EDUCATION REVOLUTIONIZING SCIENCE EDUCATION Biomedical research and science education are the pillars on which Van Andel Institute is built. After all, the life-changing scientific breakthroughs of tomorrow will be discovered by the students of today. Van Andel Institute (VAI) Co-Founder Betty Van Andel was a life-long educator and a fervent believer in the power of knowledge to shape lives. In the early planning stages of the Institute, Van Andel was intent on including education as an integral part of the Institute’s mission. David Van Andel, chairman and CEO of VAI, views the Education Institute as the fulfillment of his mother’s dream. “Her vision was to create an institution that would shape educational excellence and thereby inspire hope and enrich lives,” Van Andel said. “She realized that access to science education is one of the most powerful gifts you can give a person and one of the best investments you can make in the future.” In 1996, former President of Hope College and former Dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Michigan Dr. Gordon Van Wylen joined Van Andel Education Institute’s (VAEI) Board of Trustees and agreed to help shape the mission of the Education Institute. A man of immense scientific knowledge, education experience and integrity, Van Wylen’s expertise was instrumental in defining the early goals of VAEI. Van Wylen and the Board of Trustees decided that to have a significant impact on science education, the Institute must first address key issues regarding the needs of students and teachers. Working with educators and scientific experts, Van Wylen organized the first Van Andel Educators Institute in 1997. This meeting 2009 Phase II of VAI construction completed. VAI hosts first Origins of Cancer symposium, which brings together experts from across the U.S. and U.K. 2010 David and Carol Van Andel rededicate the newly renovated Crescent Park. Purple Community, Van Andel Institute’s grassroots community awareness and fundraising program, is established. Dr. Jeff Trent appointed VARI President and Research Director. 16 | VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE HIGHLIGHTS OF HOPE

DR. GORDON VAN WYLEN VAN ANDEL EDUCATORS INSTITUTE, 1997 brought educators and scientists together to discuss issues in science education and ways in which the Institute could effect positive change. In 1998, Van Wylen also assisted in founding the Van Andel Educational Technology School, which was a technology focused program for urban elementary schools in the Grand Rapids Public School system. These efforts were the first steps toward designing the Institute’s educational philosophy, which embraces inquiry-based learning, proactive teacher training and innovative technologies. Thinking and Acting Like a Scientist In the years following the founding of VAEI, influential experts in scientific research and academia worked diligently to shape the inquiry-based philosophy of the Institute’s science education and teacher development programs. The hallmark of VAEI’s inquiry-based education philosophy is that students learn science best not just by memorization, but by actually doing science. Based on the scientific method of observation, measurement, experimentation, and the formulation and testing of results, VAEI’s methods provide students with a meaningful, engaging learning experience and a sound understanding of scientific principles. Under the guidance of talented educators like Marcia Bishop, Dr. Gordon Van Harn and Dr. Steven J. Triezenberg, VAEI’s programs have grown to include the Field Experience, High School Journal Club, Out-of-School-Time Cohort Program, Science on Saturday and NexGen Inquiry ® (VAEI’s web-based education platform). 2011 VAIGS launches partnership with the United Negro College Fund. 2012 CONTINUED ON PG 18 > Dr. Patrik Brundin appointed the Jay Van Andel Endowed Chair in Parkinson’s Research and works to build the Center for Neurodegenerative Science. VAEI begins High School Journal Club, creating an inquiry-based science education program for high school students in West Michigan. VAEI expands its professional development resources with QPOE 2 ® curriculum products and Partners in Science program for teachers. VAI hosts first international Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease symposium for hundreds of Parkinson’s scientists, clinicians and patient advocates. VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE HIGHLIGHTS OF HOPE | 17

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