Grandparents University® Majors

Choose a major that best fits your interests. You will remain in the same major for the entire two-day program. Adults must accompany children to majors.

Learning experiences, age recommendations and physical activity levels vary by major –so, please note instructors' requests.

Terrific Trees of the WSU Campus - Exploring Our Living Classroom

Taught by Melanie Reap

Trees are vital to our survival. They provide food, shelter and oxygen. Experience trees from a squirrel’s view, from a bird’s view, and from your view!

Come learn about these wonderful organisms and the WSU Arboretum.

You will explore some of the more than 100 unique species of trees on our beautiful campus through:

  • identification
  • photography
  • leaf rubbings
  • journaling
  • writing “poet-tree”

You will also have the opportunity to do some creative tree photography and to learn about how certain trees on the WSU campus can be used for food and medicine.

Lego Mindstorms - Introduction to Robotics

Taught by Eric Paulsen

This class will offer you the opportunity to embark on an adventurous challenge with Lego EV3 technology in order to design, assemble and program robots. 

In past years, this course used NXT technology. We are very excited that this year we will have access to the EV3 robots!

No prior experience with computer programming or robots needed.

You will program your robots to perform tasks, compete in races, run an obstacle course, and complete other challenges created by you!

Physics in Everyday Life

Taught by Gary and Richard Shields

Physics is in your life and you might not even know it. This class will cover four topics of physics that you use everyday. 

In a combination of interactive lecture demonstrations and hand-on activities, we will cover the topics of motion, waves, electricity and light.

Some demonstrations will amaze you, but all are designed to make you think about the world you live in.

This class will be team taught by Professor Gary Shields and Professor Emeritus Richard Shields. This father and son team has many years of experience teaching physics to both children and adults.

Intro to Coding for Kids & Grands

Taught by Eric Wright

It’s never too early (or too late) to start coding! Get ready for a fun exploration into computer programming using a variety of hands on tools to make coding fun and accessible for all ages.  

In this class you will learn how to program a rockin’ dance party using  You will also spend time drawing objects and animations in Scratch, a project created by MIT to encourage kids of all ages to start coding. You will even get a chance to do some beginner robotics.  

Let your creativity flow as you learn these valuable skills!

Painting the Sun & Other Fun Art Projects

Taught by Mary Lee Eischen

In this exciting Grandparents University class, children and grandparents will come together to:

  • Paint a sun on a canvas
  • Stitch a small wall hanging about our dreams
  • Make a travel journal filled with stamps
  • Draw zentangles and make bracelets, rubbings and collage

Everyone will have fun and feel good creating together.

Mysterious Microbiology – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Taught by Kay Pedretti

They're good, they're bad and they're sometimes ugly. 

Discover the microbes that live everywhere — they are in us, on us and all around us in places where you least expect. 

You will grow and view these microscopic bugs (bacteria, molds, germs, viruses, etc.) using high-powered microscopes. 

Prepare to be amazed and, at times, a little "grossed out" by all the microscopic critters living in our environment!

Get a Clue! Writing Mysteries

Taught by Trisha Speed-Shaskan

With the help of children’s book author Trisha Speed Shaskan students will: 

  • Set up a crime scene
  • Discover clues
  • Track down a trail of paw prints

In this class, students will use props and stories for inspiration.  

Students will also learn the vocabulary of mystery writing from clues to red herrings and explore elements of craft from character to plot.  

Students will write their very own mystery.