Youth Programs at Western

Youth Programs at Western Washington UniversityBellingham Grandparents "U"
Ages 7-14

Date Thursday – Friday, July 17-18
View detailed schedule
Time Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Friday: 7 a.m. to 2:30 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: Elizabeth Raymond

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

Let’s Play in the Dirt: Formation, Collecting, and Cleaning Fossils 

Fossils are amazing.  Take this opportunity to play with relics from our earth’s past.  You will excavate your own plant fossils from blocks of sediment and learn how to clean them.  Once your fossils are cleaned, we will use laboratory techniques to investigate how these fossils were formed.  At the end of class the fossils will be ready to take home and display.

Recommended age: All ages are appropriate
Physical activity level: Average
Instructor: Thomas Evans

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 17, 2014

9:00 – 10:00


SMATE (#43 on your campus map)

10:00 – 10:15

Welcome & Opening


10:30 – 11:30

Class Orientation

Various Classrooms - with your Professors

11:30 – 1:00


Viking Commons Cafeteria if you purchased a meal plan, otherwise on your own

1:00 – 2:30

Session 1

Class schedule with locations available at check in

2:30 – 2:45



2:45 – 4:15

Session 2

Class schedule with locations available at check in

Evening Activities

4:30 – 6:00


Open to all that confirm via the registration system

5:45 – 8:15

Optional Evening Activities

Choose from an array of activities.  Swim at the Wade King Student Recreation Center, tour the WWU Outdoor Sculpture Collection, visit the Marine Touch Tank, tour the Sculpture Collection, or challenge your classmates to a game in the dorm lounge.

Friday, July 18, 2014

7:00 – 8:30


Viking Commons Cafeteria or on your own

9:00 – 10:30

Session #3

Class schedule with locations available at check in

10:30 – 10:45



10:45 – 12:15

Session #4

Class schedule with locations available at check in

12:15 – 1:45


Viking Commons Cafeteria or on your own

1:45 – 2:30

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. 
*WWU Alumni, Faculty and Staff are eligible for a $20 discount at time of registration.

Participants can choose to stay overnight in on-campus residential housing for $71 per night.  Meals can be purchased for $30 per attendee.

Cancellations received in writing or via e-mail to before June 20th are eligible for a full refund minus a $50.00 cancellation fee. Cancellations made after June 20th will no longer be eligible for a refund.

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Page Updated 12.18.2014