Youth Programs at Western

Youth Programs at Western Washington UniversityBellingham Grandparents "U"

Grades Grades 1-8 (Ages 7-14)
Date Thursday – Friday,
July 16-17, 2015
View detailed schedule
Time Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Location Western Washington University
Cost $199 per grandparent/grandchild pair;
Additional fees may apply

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Not Just Your Parent’s Chemistry Set

Explore the fun and fascinating world of chemistry through reactions that change color, temperature and spark colored flames. Participants will experiment with dry ice and liquid nitrogen, investigate phase changes, and make several plastics to play with. All activities will be hands-on, including some that you will be able to reproduce at home to amaze your friends and family.  

Recommended age:  All ages are appropriate
Physical activity level: Low
Instructor: Betsy Raymond and Steven Emory

Bringing Books to Life: Write, Sculpt and Paint Your Own Stories

The greatest stories come to life through their characters.  You and your grandchild will work together to write an original story, then breathe life into the pages through sculpted characters and watercolor backdrops and sets.  Your story will then be shared with other members of the class through a performance of your writing, acted out with your sculpted characters on portable stages.

Recommended age: All ages are appropriate
Physical activity level: Low
Instructors: Gaye Green and Rosanna Porter

Colorful Keepsake Journals, Bookbinding and Paper Crafting

Design your own “Moleskine” style notebook or journal with a personalized touch.  Participants will explore historical techniques of paper crafting and bookbinding for inspiration.  We will then craft our own unique keepsakes to take home by making colorful and patterned paste papers and applying them to simple bindings. 

Recommended age: 8-14
Physical activity level: Low
Instructor: Elsi Vassdal Ellis

The Secret Life of Trees

Let’s explore the wonder that is a tree.  How can they grow up to 300 feet and live for 5,000 years?  Can they talk to other creatures, and why do some of them shed their leaves?  We will investigate these questions and more by using microscopes, conducting lab experiments, and going on campus field trips through the beautiful Sehome Arboretum.  After class, you will be able to take home your tree experiment to share with friends and family.

Recommended age:  All ages are appropriate
Physical activity level: High; we will be walking up through the Sehome Arboretum
Instructor: Anu Singh-Cundy

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Resident move-in (for those staying in campus housing)

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.


10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Welcome & Opening

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Class Orientation and Session #1

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Picnic Lunch

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Class Session #2

2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Break and Exercise

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Class Session #3

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Optional activities (Choose from an array of activities, including swimming at the Wade King Rec Center, an outdoor art tour or a tree tour.)

Evening Activities

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Dinner (On your own or in the Viking Commons Cafeteria if you have purchased a meal package.)

5:45 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.

Optional activities (Enjoy a show at the Spanel Planetarium or challenge your classmates to a game in the form lounge.)

Friday, July 17, 2015

7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Resident check-out/Breakfast in the Viking Commons Cafeteria (for those who purchased a meal package)

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Class Session #4

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.


10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Class Session #5

12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Closing Ceremonies/Program Concludes

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Registration is $199* for one grandparent and one grandchild.  Additional grandparents can register for $139 each and additional grandchildren can be added for $79 each. This includes all class/instructor fees, optional activities, and the Picnic Lunch on Thursday, July 16.
*WWU Alumni, Faculty and Staff are eligible for a $20 discount at time of registration.

On-Campus Housing
Participants can choose to stay overnight in on-campus residential housing for $75 per night. This includes a 2-bedroom suite (each with twin beds) standard linens (1 pillow, 1 washcloth, 1 towel, 1 bar of soap, sheets/pillow case, light blanket, and a coverlet), and a private bathroom/shower. These are standard “institutional” linens/towels, so you are certainly welcome to bring your own favorite linen items to supplement for your own comfort level. You and your grandchild will enjoy the adventure of living as college students do on a college campus!

On-Campus Dining
A picnic lunch will be provided for all participants on Thursday, July 16 and is included in the Registration price. A Meal Package can also be purchased for $24 per attendee and includes one (1) dinner on July 16 and one (1) breakfast on July 17, in the Viking Commons Cafeteria.

If you plan to park on campus during Grandparents U, you will need a parking permit on the day you arrive.  On-campus parking will be $20 for a Thursday-Friday permit. 

All Grandparents “U” activities are held in facilities and outdoor areas of Western Washington University.  Most are accessible to individuals who have physical limitations.  All courses require walking in between campus buildings, and some courses include walking short distances. (Please check the “Physical activity level” notation for each course.)  There is an approximately 7-12 minute walk from the classroom areas, Viking Commons Cafeteria, and the on-campus housing location.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations received in writing or via e-mail to before June 19 are eligible for a full refund minus a $50.00 cancellation fee. Cancellations made after June 19 will no longer be eligible for a refund.

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Page Updated 03.17.2015