2020 Science on the Grand: A STEAM Conference for Inquiry-Based Instruction

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Van Andel Institute for Education (VAI) is hosting Science on the Grand: A STEAM Conference for Inquiry-Based Instruction for the third year on July 13 and 14 in Grand Rapids, MI. This conference equips K-12 educators with the skills, resources, confidence, and competence they need to create a classroom culture which supports STEAM integration, as well as specific STEAM content strategies and lessons.

In addition, all registered teachers can elect to participate in 'VAI's Pitch Tank'-- a fun competition intended to encourage creativity in the classroom where participants will have an opportunity to receive up to $5000 to transform their classroom.

VAI is proud to announce that this year's keynote addresses will feature Erin Gruwell and Dr. Matt Steensma:

Erin Gruwell is an award-winning educator and advocate best known for her work with The Freedom Writers Foundation, an organization dedicated to training educators and bringing hope to students around the globe. Gruwell's keynote will focus on how teachers can become catalysts for change by encouraging tolerance, cooperation, and respect within the classroom.

Dr. Matt Steensma received his M.D. from Wayne State University School of Medicine and joined Van Andel Institute in 2010 as an Associate Scientific Investigator in the Center for Skeletal Disease Research. In his keynote address, Dr. Steensma will share his insights on the scientific process and discuss how educators can influence and inspire the next generation of great thinkers.

Here's what attendees can expect at Science on the Grand 2020:

    --  40+ sessions dedicated to research-based and classroom-tested STEAM
        content strategies.
    --  A top-notch line up of practicing teachers and speakers covering topics
        such as project-based learning, critical thinking, student engagement,
        literacy and the science connection, classroom management,
        collaboration, social and emotional learning, and STEAM integration.
    --  Exciting opportunities to network with other dedicated educators.
    --  A chance to win up to $5,000 to supercharge your classroom!

"My hope is that teachers walk away from Science on the Grand with practical strategies they can actually use, and with a rekindled passion for science and teaching." says Terra Tarango, Director of Van Andel Institute for Education. "But mostly, I hope they feel honored and respected for the amazing job they do on a daily basis."

To learn more about Science on the Grand 2020 and VAI's Pitch Tank Competition, go to: https://vaei.vai.org/science2020/


Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an agile biomedical research and education organization that unleashes innovation to multiply impact. Established in Grand Rapids, Michigan, by the Van Andel family, VAI collaborates around the world to advance bold ideas in biomedicine and education. With a staff of more than 400 and a growing network of partners, VAI studies the origins of cancer, Parkinson's and other diseases and translates its findings into breakthrough prevention and treatment strategies to improve human health. The Graduate School at VAI offers a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology through a research-intensive, interdisciplinary program that prepares students for successful careers as independent investigators. Van Andel Institute for Education is dedicated to creating classrooms where curiosity, creativity and critical thinking thrive, offering engaging programs for K-12 students and transformative professional development and instructional tools for teachers. Find out more about Van Andel Institute for Education by visiting vaei.vai.org.

Media Contact:
Robin Dhaseleer
Van Andel Institute
(616) 234-5484

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SOURCE Van Andel Institute