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 – please note instructors' requests. View a 2018 sample Grandparents University® Itinerary (PDF). Below you will find the course titles and majors for 2018.

Taught by Julie McAllen (aka Jubilee! The Clown), this class will teach students about the joy of clowning. This class for grandparents and grandchildren is a perfect combination for relaxed fun together and an education in the art of clowning and bringing smiles to the faces of people of all ages! Students will learn the practical steps of make-up application and developing a clown persona and will have an opportunity to meet members of the local Winona Clown Club. Prepare to let loose, be silly and get your laugh on!
Taught by Trisha Speed Shaskan - 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 have the chance to write their very own mystery. If you like solving puzzles and enjoy a good whodunit, you will love this class!
Taught by Bill Kader – Come and learn how to draw a portrait of your grandparent/grandchild! This is an introductory course that will teach basic drawing skills. You will learn about shapes, contours and shading and will learn how to draw more accurately. The final project of the class will be an exercise in drawing a portrait of your grandparent/grandchild from a photograph. Channel your inner artist and come draw with us!
Taught by Melanie Reap - What do Gingko, Tulip, and Buckeye all have in common? They are all trees on the WSU campus! Come explore some of the more than 100 unique species of trees on our beautiful campus through identification, photography, leaf rubbings, journaling, and writing “poet-tree.” This year 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. Go out on a limb and hang out with us!
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!

Taught by Eric Paulsen - This class will offer you the opportunity to embark on an adventurous challenge with Lego NXT technology in order to design, assemble and program 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 is in your life and you might not even know it. This class will cover four topics of physics that you use every day. 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.