Jul. 10  —  Jul. 11, 2023

Science on the Grand 2023

Science on the Grand honors the person and the profession!

We know teachers have the most important job in the world; that’s why we support the whole teacher. This conference was designed by experts and current classroom teachers to provide research-based, classroom-tested, and inquiry-oriented content that supports your classroom expectations, your content standards, and you as a person.

Join us in creating a classroom culture that supports STEAM instruction while also nurturing your own curiosity for personal growth and enjoyment. And during some very challenging times, you’ll see that you’re not alone with many networking opportunities for you to engage with other teachers by grade level and content area.

Because teachers deserve it!

  • Establish a classroom culture to support STEAM instruction
  • Explore standards-aligned lessons by grade level with STEAM integration
  • Network with like-minded educators in your grade and interest area
  • Nurture your own curiosity and personal growth
  • Celebrate the amazing work you do!

Download Flyer

Two days, two great keynotes!

Monday, July 10, 2023

Dr. John Spencer, Ed.D
Educator, Thought Leader in Design-Thinking, and Best-Selling Author of Empower

Keynote: The Curious Classroom

Too often students leave school less curious than when they arrived. However, many teachers cultivate a mindset of curiosity. Their classrooms are bastions of creativity and wonder. These teachers empower students to ask questions, seek out information, and design solutions built on empathy. In this keynote, we explore what it means to spark ongoing curiosity through inquiry-based learning.

About John Spencer

Dr. John Spencer is a former middle school teacher and current college professor who is passionate about seeing kids reach their creative potential. John is on a mission to see teachers unleash the creative potential in all of their students so that kids can be makers, designers, artists, and engineers. He regularly explores research, interviews educators, deconstructs systems, and studies real-world examples of design thinking in action. He shares these insights in books, blog posts, journal articles, free resources, animated videos, and podcasts. In Spencer’s second year of teaching, he used design thinking  for our student-centered documentary project. Everything changed. He spent the next decade on a journey to empower my students to become creative thinkers and problem-solvers. This meant mural projects, service learning projects, designing STEM camps, and creating coding projects. He also helped design his school district’s STEM courses and digital journalism course.  Along the way, he helped develop the student-friendly LAUNCH Cycle, a design thinking framework for K-12 students. He is the co-author of the bestselling books Launch and Empower.

For more information on Dr. John Spencer, go to spencerauthor.com.


Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Dr. Stephanie Grainger, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Biology at Van Andel Institute

Keynote: From Fish to Dish: How a Little Fish Can Help Cure Cancer
Can a tiny fish frequently found in kids’ aquariums help us cure cancer? The answer might surprise you. VAI’s Dr. Stephanie Grainger explores how zebrafish help scientists better understand cancer and fuel new insights that one day could lead to powerful new treatments. Dr. Grainger will also bring a scientific perspective on how educators can influence and inspire the next generation of scientists. Educators will gain insight into what it’s actually like to “think and act like a scientist.”

About Stephanie Grainger, Ph.D.
Dr. Stephanie Grainger is an authority on the biological underpinnings of how stem cells develop, and how these processes can go awry during cancer. She earned her Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Medicine from the University of Ottawa, where she investigated the role of Cdx transcription factors in intestinal development. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the labs of Dr. David Traver and Dr. Karl Willert at University of California, San Diego. Her research during this time sought to understand the role of Wnt signaling in hematopoietic stem cell development — work that she continued as an assistant professor at San Diego State University. During this time, she discovered a novel stage of hematopoietic stem cell development, which is driven by a specific Wnt cue. Furthermore, she discovered a novel mechanism of Wnt signal regulation. In 2021, Dr. Grainger joined Van Andel Institute’s Department of Cell Biology.

For more information on Dr. Stephanie Grainger, go to the Grainger Laboratory.

Bring a friend and share the experience! Plus, administrators can attend FREE!+

Registration includes:

  • Two days of inspiration, exploration, and practical take aways
  • Opportunities to network with like-minded teachers
  • Breakfast, lunch, VIP treatment, and more!
  • Free parking in the GRCC Parking Ramp within walking distance from Van Andel Institute

Individual Tuition

  • Early Bird: $100 per person until May 15, 2023
  • $200 per person from May 16 – July 11, 2023

All prices per person. Registrations cannot be shared.

+With the paid registration of a staff member, an administrator from the same building/district may attend for FREE. Free administrator registrations are nontransferable. To receive the free administrator offer, administrators must register by phone with name of paid registrant. Call 616.234.5528.

Convince Your Administrator

Need help convincing your administrator? Use this sample Admin Request Letter that highlights all the great reasons you should attend Science on the Grand.

When & Where:

Monday, July 10 – Tuesday, July 11, 2023
7:00 AM–3:30 PM

Van Andel Institute Campus
333 Bostwick Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Parking in the GRCC lot will be validated.

Where to Stay:

Hyatt Place Grand Rapids/Downtown (0.4 miles)
Rate: $169/night
Book by Friday, June 9, 2023 to receive special pricing.
Make Reservation or call 1-800-233-1234 (reference Van Andel Institute room block)

Additional Nearby Hotels:

Homewood Suites by Hilton Grand Rapids Downtown (0.4 miles)
City Flats Hotel (0.5 miles)
Amway Grand Plaza (0.6 miles)
JW Marriott (0.6 miles)
Residence Inn by Marriott Grand Rapids Downtown (0.6 miles)
Hampton Inn & Suites Grand Rapids Downtown (0.7 miles)

We are looking for dedicated professionals like you who have a passion for authentic learning and STEAM education to share their knowledge and expertise with fellow educators.

All presenters will receive:

  • Free tuition to all conference events
  • A chance to share your best practices with hundreds of educators
  • Breakfast, lunch, snacks, and VIP treatment!

To become a potential presenter, please submit a session proposal that focuses on STEAM integration in the science classroom and is interactive, hands-on, and highly engaging. We believe that teachers learn best when we can immerse them in a learning experience that allows them to apply creativity, curiosity, and critical thinking in the science classroom.

Please submit your proposal by March 31.

Submit A Proposal

Session Topic Ideas: 

  • Classroom Management
  • Collaboration & Communication
  • Content Specific Lessons
    – Earth and Space Science
    – Life Science/Biology
    – Physical Science/Chem or Physics
    – Engineering Design
  • Creativity & Critical Thinking
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Equity
  • Feedback and Assessment
  • Inquiry Learning
  • Project-based Learning
  • NGSS
  • Risk-Taking and Perseverance
  • Social-Emotional Learning
  • Student Engagement
  • Student Ownership
  • Technology Integration
  • Work-Life Balance

Event Details

Venue: Van Andel Institute 333 Bostwick Ave. NE Grand Rapids