GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Van Andel Institute has opened registration for their free 2024 Spring Afterschool Cohorts. The spring programming is available for 4th-6th graders and provides hands-on learning opportunities in species exploration and disaster investigation.

The spring cohorts are:

  • Grades 4–5 | Species Explorers: Students will explore the living world by documenting the strange and exotic species who call VAI home. As a bonus, they will also visit with experts to discover more about plants and animals from around the world, and what humans can do to create healthy, sustainable environments.  
  • Grades 5–6 | Disaster Detectives: Students will tap into their inner engineer by investigating natural and manmade disasters, as well as their colossal impact on the world around us. From hurricanes to earthquakes to wildfires, this cohort examines how experts predict, prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters.

The VAI is determined to provide engaging learning opportunities to all this spring, which is why the program is at no cost to the participants. Transportation will even be provided to qualifying families. All of this is made possible thanks to the VAI and generous donors. Don’t miss your chance to join the fun this spring!

To learn more about VAI for Education and Afterschool Cohorts, visit