gku 2022

Choose from 7 exciting majors:

VIU GrandKids University

Are You Game?

Media Studies; Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Making games is just as much fun as playing them! Participation in this major teaches students how to recognize the fundamental components that make up common games, and how to use the iterative design process to develop and playtest original game ideas. Original games created will be physical/board/card (i.e. not digital) games, and game concepts will be derived from everyday activities common to participants of all ages.

Anticipated activities include:

  • Play and analyze familiar games
  • Modify familiar games by adding new features/mechanics
  • Brainstorm new game ideas

Bird Brained Building

Building Design; Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Bird Brained Building will examine the basics of design.  You will design then build a custom bird house, looking at drafting basics, materials and some architectural/design concepts.  ‘Green’ design concepts will be introduced.

Anticipated activities include:

  • Draft and design with drafting boards
  • Learn how to draw to scale
  • Select materials and pieces for the birdhouse build
  • Work in the shop to assemble then paint the bird house

Coast Salish Land and Peoples: Living Libraries

Library Administration

There are two main sources/libraries of Indigenous stories, all of equal importance:  the land and the people. There are many ways to receive and share stories.  Course activities will discuss sources and roles of stories.

  • Why are there stories in the world?
  • Where can we find stories?
  • What do we do with stories?  How do we pass them on to others?

Anticipated activities include:

  • A most important story: Who are you?
    • You are a very important first story that must be told with your voice and your body.
  • How does the land tell us stories?
    • Sharing a story from the land: Many Coast Salish stories are told without voice or writing.
  • How can we share those stories with others?

Creating, Baking and Tasting... Oh My!

Culinary Arts; Faculty of Trades and Technology

Join Pastry Chef David Nolan to learn how to create, bake and taste delicious treats. Creations may include buns, pie, cookies and more.  On the second day you will make burgers for lunch on buns you made on the first day.  Chef Nolan will instruct students in all-important kitchen safety as well as testing everyone on their baking knowledge… so be sure to take notes!

Anticipated activities include:

  • Creation and baking of various treats
  • Grill your own burgers for lunch (Day 2)
  • Pastry Slide Show
  • Baking Test

*a supply fee of $15 per person will be charged

Earth Explorers 2.0

Geography; Faculty of Social Sciences

We are always asking questions: where things are, why are they there, and how do we get there? If you've ever asked a similar question then join us for a variety of fun filled activities. Go geocaching with GPS to find hidden treasures. Discover what makes a map, how we use them, and how to use a compass. We will explore our local weather and learn about how we get the weather we see.  Examine rocks and minerals, and learn about where and how they form. We will use the knowledge we’ve gained, teamwork and critical thinking to recover ‘lost pirate treasure’. 

Anticipated activities include:

  • Explore weather and collect data using real instruments
  • Use maps and compasses to navigate a mystery trail
  • Use a GPS to go Geocaching and find hidden treasures
  • Get hands-on with rocks and minerals, the Earth’s building blocks
  • Use knowledge and teamwork to solve escape-room style puzzles and recover ‘pirate treasure’

Faster, Higher, Stronger - The Science of Sports

Sport, Health and Physical Education; Faculty of Education

If you’re like me (and a lot of others), you love sports. Playing them, watching them, imagining you’re scoring the winning goal or striking out the opponent for the win. Have you ever wondered how athletes are able to do those amazing physical feats? Do you look at the human body and say “that is so cool, how did she do that?” Me too!

Join me in the Sport, Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) program at Grandkids University, and we’ll explore the world of sports from a scientific perspective. We’ll use some of the latest technology to see how the human body works, and we’ll perform some of the same tests that your favorite athletes do during training camps.

Anticipated activities include:

  • Exploring sports science and related disciplines like kinesiology
  • Using the latest technologies to discover how humans “work”
  • The ‘VIU Combine’ – fitness testing to examine sports performance
  • Lots of fun, activity and learning

Field Naturalist

Shoots with Roots; Milner Gardens and Woodland

Do you love being outdoors, native plants and wildlife? Then you will love becoming a field naturalist at Milner Gardens and Woodland.  You will explore the forest, garden, ponds and bird life while learning how to recognize natural flora and fauna and recording it all in your nature journals.

Anticipated activities include:

  • Tour the artist’s garden
  • Make a nature journal
  • Learn bird identification skills and do a bird survey
  • Go on a forest walk and search for signs of local wildlife
  • Identify plants and play plant ID games
  • Backyard nature games and gardening for wildlife ideas will be shared


Milner Gardens and Woodland – 2179 W. Island Highway, Qualicum Beach – Outdoors
(Transportation provided to and from VIU)
What you need to bring:

  • Sturdy walking shoes that can get dirty
  • Warm jacket and/or rain jacket (it can be quite cool in the forest even on hot days)
  • Sunscreen
  • Lunch, a snack and water ( both days)
  • Binoculars if you already have a pair (a few pairs are available to borrow)

2018 Daily Schedules

Registration Information

Favourite Moments From Past Years Sessions