gku 2022

GrandKids University 2023

Join us this summer!

We are excited to share with you what GrandKids U will look like this year. We hope you can join us!


Start: Thursday, August 17th at 8:30am
End: Friday, August 18th at 12:30pm

Location: VIU Nanaimo Campus

Cost: $135/person (max 2 grandkids/grandparent)

Day 1: Spend the day in your ‘Major’ then participate in evening activities with the whole group.
Day 2: Fun activities all together!

Enhance your on-campus experience by staying in the student residences for a night or two!


Registration will open on Monday, June 5th at 8:30am PST by phone only.  
Call 1-866-734-6252 to register. Please note that we will NOT process registrations based on voicemails. 


Adventure for Living!      Recreation & Tourism; Faculty of Management
Access to beautiful outdoor places to play has never been better in B.C. with over 1,000 natural protected areas and roughly 30,000 km of trails! This Major will reinforce the value of outdoor recreation in B.C. and its’ important role in supporting the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities.  Come learn why millions of visitors and residents participate in outdoor recreation every year across our region!    Anticipated activities:  learn more about outdoor recreation opportunities on Vancouver Island, design a 'Family Adventure Plan' for your next outdoor recreation adventure, and enjoy a guided interpretive forest walk with an Instructor from VIU's Department of Recreation and Tourism Management.

Build & Learn Together in our Workshop     Carpentry & Heavy Equipment Operator; Faculty of Trades & Technology
Join us for a day of hands-on fun in this Major!  Learn basic carpentry skills while creating a project to take home and cherish for years to come.  Spend time learning how big machines work by trying out a heavy equipment machine simulator or hop on a skid steer or mini excavator.  No experience required – just bring your enthusiasm and willingness to work and learn together as a team.  Anticipated activities: roof framing, bird house building, nail pounding contest, simulator use, skid steer or mini excavator.

Earth Explorers     Geography; Faculty of Social Sciences
If you've ever asked a question like "where things are,” “why they are there,” or “how can we get there," then you’re a geographer! Join us for a variety of fun filled activities applying geography skills to a range of disciplines. Discover the art and science of maps and how we use them.  Get hands-on with rocks and learn how they shape our beaches and rivers. Use weather instruments to compare different microclimates on campus. Work together to design a totally awesome playground. Use maps and compasses to navigate a mystery trail and rescue lost mascots. This 'Major' emphasizes the importance of critical thinking, creativity, and teamwork, culminating in an exciting challenge to recover "lost pirate treasure" using the knowledge and skills you have gained throughout the day.

Zoology: Explorations of Animal Diversity and Adaptations    Biology; Faculty of Science & Technology
Enhance your skills as a naturalist in this Zoology ‘Major’. Learn how to identify a diversity of marine, pond, and terrestrial invertebrate animals in the VIU Zoology lab. Explore animal adaptations through microscopy of living invertebrates and fish-parasite dissection. Anticipated activities include:  'A Naturalist's Paradise! - A hands-on study of living invertebrates and their fascinating adaptations', 'Parasites in the Lab! – A hands-on study of the internal anatomy and parasites of the bizarre spotted ratfish. (suitable for ages 9 or older)

Faster, Higher, Stronger – The Science of Sports    Kinesiology; 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 us in this Kinesiology Major to 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 and preparation for international events like the Olympics.

Field Naturalist     Milner Gardens & Woodland; Qualicum Beach
Do you love exploring local parks and green spaces but wish you knew a bit more about the plants and animals you see?  Then you will love becoming a field naturalist at Milner Gardens & Woodland.  Explore the forest and garden with an experienced naturalist while recording your sightings using nature journals as well as new online tools that you’ll be introduced to. This major takes place outdoors.  Participants should dress for the weather and be prepared for a fair bit of walking. Our trails are well maintained and mostly flat.  Bring with you:  a small notebook and pencil, a bag lunch, a water bottle, good walking shoes, binoculars (optional) and a backpack to carry your belongings in.  Transportation to and from is provided.

Science Champion!             Education; Faculty of Education
Do you love science and want to share your passion with others?  Join us for fun science experiments and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities that will spark your interest and transition you from a science enthusiast to a science champion!  Activities may include: science experiments, learning to code, fostering curiosity through inquiry, lesson planning, and more.

Wildlife: Sights, Sound and Sign           Resource Management & Protection; Faculty of Science & Technology
Wildlife is all around us, even in a busy city. This Major looks at three ways to identify wildlife: Sight – what features to look for when we see an animal; Sound – how animal noises can reveal their presence and behaviour, even over long distances; Sign – the tracks and evidence that animals leave behind. You will have the opportunity to practice wildlife ID in a campus ‘blitz’ at the end of the day. Anticipated activities: specimen examination, make animal tracks/casts, make a map of birds and animals’ sight, sound and sign found.

You are a Star!       Theatre Department; Faculty of Arts & Humanities
Come together to play theatre games and have fun with improv exercises in this expressive Major that develops skill and talent in a welcoming space. Celebrate creativity and comic timing that enhances performance know-how, develops team spirit and self-confidence!  Anticipated activities include: character-building exercises, acting games, and laughing!