Our Story

We create classrooms where curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking thrive.

VAI’s K-12 Story

When Jay and Betty Van Andel founded Van Andel Institute in 1996, they envisioned a world-class biomedical research facility where scientists would tackle some of the most challenging issues threatening human health. They realized these issues would persist well beyond a single generation, so from the outset, the Institute included a K–12 outreach program to complement the research endeavors, preparing the next generation of scientific thinkers and problem solvers.

Van Andel Institute for Education helps teachers across the country transform their science instruction. We have our own student programs where we test innovative pedagogical practices and engaging instructional practices. We then share those best practices with teachers, creating classrooms where curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking thrive.

Our Guiding Principles:

  • We believe teachers have the most important job and should be respected and supported as such.
  • We never want a lack of funding to be a hindrance to quality instruction.
  • We enhance our reputation through the quality of our products and services.
  • We are not bound by traditional norms of instruction, and we are continually innovating for the benefit of student learning.
  • We value curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking in a learning environment.

Our Impact

Making A Difference

Watch our 2021–2022 Impact Video to see the ways Van Andel Institute for Education supports families and schools.

Success Stories

Crossroads Charter Academy

Crossroads Charter Academy and the Future of Professional Development

Learn More

Northview Field School

Northview Field School Charts a New Course with Project-Based Learning

Learn More

From Science Cohort to Fulbright Scholar

From Science Cohort to Fulbright Scholar: One Student’s Journey with VAI

Learn More

Our Team

Terra Tarango

Director and Education Officer

Temple Rosenberger

Associate Director of Marketing, Operations, and Educational Partnerships

Aaron Braunschneider

Educational Partnerships

Matt Deal

Educational Partnerships Specialist

Robin Dhaseleer


Ryan Duncan

Editorial Specialist

Heather Gray


Kim Harding

Learning Specialist

Cory Kavanagh

Cory Kavanagh

Learning Specialist

Kate Langmeyer

Senior Administrative Assistant

Jamie MacPherson

Learning Specialist

Dawn McCotter, M.Ed.

Curriculum & Instruction Senior Manager

Randi McIntyre

Laboratory Aide

Jon Oosterman

Learning Specialist

Randy Schregardus, M.Ed.

Instructional Operations Manager

Ben Talsma

Learning Specialist

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