MAJORS

This year, there are 13 Grandparents University majors being offered, all of which are taught by Purdue faculty and staff. An adult must accompany each child at all times during the activities related to the major. For that reason, please select majors based on your grandchild’s age, their physical activity level, and your physical activity level.

Guide to Physical Activity Levels

Levels of physical activity vary among majors and field trips, so please choose what best suits your physical abilities. Every attempt will be made to honor accessibility requests made in advance.

  • Low: Most activities and tours take place indoors with some walking required. Majors will have mostly seated activities.
  • Medium: Some movement and walking required between classrooms and venues, which may include stairs. Long periods of standing may be required, and outdoor activity is possible.
  • High: Significant movement and physical activity, including walking or hiking outdoors.

ABCs of ABE

Taught by: Mandy Limiac
Facilitated by: Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Age Group: 7–14
Activity Level: High
Location: Agricultural and Biological Engineering

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Mandy Limiac
Agricultural and Biological Engineering
7–14
High
Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Experience the world of agricultural and biological engineering—from farm and forest to food and pharmaceuticals! You’ll learn how precision-agriculture technology is advancing global agricultural production, discover how ecological engineers create designs and restore natural ecosystems, and hear how bioprocess engineers combine multiple concepts to design industrial processes.

Examples of Activities

  • Discover how drones and robots are pushing agriculture into the digital age—and then fly/drive them
  • Explore a stream redesign site
  • Get a taste for bioprocess engineering by making popping boba

All the Small Things

Taught by: Ron Reger
Facilitated by: Office of Research
Age Group: 7–14
Activity Level: Low
Location: Birck Nanotechnology Center

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Ron Reger
Office of Research
7–14
Low
Birck Nanotechnology Center

Can you imagine a world that’s too small to see? Introducing nanotechnology! Explore nanoscale science and engineering, and learn about their impacts on society. By engaging with engineers and scientists, you’ll discover the promising development of revolutionary materials and technologies.

Examples of Activities

  • Experiment with and manipulate liquid crystals and thin films
  • Tour the nanotechnology center’s research clean room
  • Watch a nano ice cream demonstration, and enjoy a sweet treat after

Advancing Animal Health

Taught by: Chad Brown
Facilitated by: College of Veterinary Medicine
Age Group: 11–14
Activity Level: Medium
Location: Charles J. Lynn Hall of Veterinary Medicine and Equine Health Services Annex

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Chad Brown
College of Veterinary Medicine
11–14
Medium
Charles J. Lynn Hall of Veterinary Medicine and Equine Health Services Annex

Discover some of the day-to-day activities of a veterinarian and veterinary nurse. You’ll get to see what they see by working directly with live animals, studying X-rays, and even examining the microorganisms that live inside of a cow’s stomach!

Examples of Activities

  • Practice physical exam techniques on a dog
  • Reach inside of a cow’s stomach
  • Look at blood cells under a microscope

Building Your World

Taught by: Juliana Pereira and staff from the Women in Engineering Program
Facilitated by: Lyles School of Civil Engineering
Age Group: 7–14
Activity Level: Low
Location: TBD

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Juliana Pereira and staff from the Women in Engineering Program
Lyles School of Civil Engineering
7–14
Low
TBD

Have you ever thought about who designs the structures around you—things like buildings, bridges, and roads? That would be civil engineers! Using imagination and innovation, civil engineers create sustainable designs that we see every day, and now it’s your turn!

Examples of Activities

  • Create your very own structure
  • Learn how buildings are designed to withstand extreme weather
  • Discover how engineers are preparing cities for the future

Engineering Space Exploration

Taught by: Brianne Wrede and staff from the Women in Engineering Program

Facilitated by: Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
Age Group: 7–14
Activity Level: Low
Location: TBD

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Brianne Wrede and staff from the Women in Engineering Program
Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
7–14
Low
TBD

When you think about going to space, you probably think about astronauts. But what about engineers? Through the design, creation, and operation of aircraft, rockets, and space-based systems, engineers play a big part in space exploration! Explore space from an engineer’s perspective, and learn about their roles in recent missions to space.

Examples of Activities

  • Build your very own rocket
  • Conduct a lunar ice-breaking challenge

Exploring Atmospheres

Taught by: Sarah Nern, Steven Smith, and Bill Bayley
Facilitated by: College of Science
Age Group: 11–14
Activity Level: Medium
Location: K–12 Outreach Lab in the Herbert C. Brown Laboratory of Chemistry

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Sarah Nern, Steven Smith, and Bill Bayley
College of Science
11–14
Medium
K–12 Outreach Lab in the Herbert C. Brown Laboratory of Chemistry

Go on a mission to discover various elements that exist in the atmosphere and how they can help us learn more about the world around us. Explore the physical processes that drive our Earth’s atmosphere—and even the atmospheres of other planets!

Examples of Activities

  • Understand planetary processes through hands-on investigations
  • Collect atmospheric data and submit it to a NASA database
  • Learn how to conduct scientific demonstrations

Green Thumb

Taught by: Anna Williams
Facilitated by: College of Agriculture
Age Group: 11–14
Activity Level: Medium
Location: TBD

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Anna Williams
College of Agriculture
11–14
Medium
TBD

Ready to get your hands dirty? Explore the world of plants, and dig into how you can grow your own food! By discovering the structure, components, and various functions of plants, you will be able to make your own plants grow and thrive.

Examples of Activities

  • Identify soil types and their properties
  • Dissect a flower
  • Plant your own indoor herb garden

Microbes to Medicines

Taught by: Elizabeth Parkinson
Facilitated by: Department of Chemistry
Age Group: 7–14
Activity Level: Low
Location: TBD

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Elizabeth Parkinson
Department of Chemistry
7–14
Low
TBD

Get ready to look at dirt like a scientist, and explore the bacteria that live in your own backyard! Discover how the bacteria found in soil can be used to make antibiotics—maybe even ones you’ve taken!

Examples of Activities

  • Isolate bacteria from soil
  • Learn how microorganisms make molecules that we use as medicines
  • Observe Streptomyces bacteria and the colored compounds that they produce

Running a Restaurant

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Taught by: Bruce Goad
Facilitated by: School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Age Group: 7–14
Activity Level: Low
Location: John Purdue Dining Room in Marriott Hall

Bruce Goad
School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
7–14
Low
John Purdue Dining Room in Marriott Hall

Opening a dream restaurant is only the beginning—you have to make money to stay in business! Discover the secrets to great hospitality and the details that make a food-service operation successful, including cleanliness, wonderful employees, and—of course—delicious menus!

Examples of Activities

  • Design a menu
  • Make your own dish in a commercial kitchen
  • Practice managing your restaurant’s money in a fun competition

STEM-it!

Taught by: Sascha Harrell
Facilitated by: Purdue’s Indiana Manufacturing Competitiveness Center
Age Group: 7–14
Activity Level: Low
Location: Indiana Manufacturing Institute

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Sascha Harrell
Purdue’s Indiana Manufacturing
Competitiveness Center
7–14
Low
Indiana Manufacturing Institute

Discover new ways to design, innovate, solve problems, and create through STEM! From building with Legos to working with robots, get ready to explore just how fun and exciting science, technology, engineering, and math can be—and find out why STEM is important.

Examples of Activities

  • Experience 3D printing
  • Explore STEM through robotics, including Dobot, Dash and Dot, and Sphero
  • Tour a micromanufacturing test bed

The Art of Improv

Taught by: Julie Baumann and Abby Laufman
Facilitated by: Department of Theatre
Age Group: 7–14
Activity Level: Medium
Location: Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts

 

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Julie Baumann and Abby Laufman
Department of Theatre
7–14
Medium
Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts

The stage is set. Now all we need is you! Discover the world of improv theater, where there are no scripts—just creativity at its finest. Through acting exercises and games, get ready to build your confidence and awareness in a unique team-building atmosphere!

Examples of Activities

  • Become performance-ready through acting warm-ups and exercises
  • Create your own theatrical scenes
  • Go on a backstage tour of a Purdue theater

The Power of Podcasting

Instructor: Kate Young
Facilitated by: Purdue University Marketing and Communications
Age Group: 7–14
Activity Level: Low
Location: TBD

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Kate Young
Purdue University Marketing and Communications
7–14
Low
TBD

Purdue uses its podcast to tell all kinds of stories—from scientists who create life saving cancer treatments to legendary Purdue athletes and coaches. Explore how you can create a podcast to tell your own stories! You’ll even get to hear behind-the-scenes info from your favorite Boilermakers.

Examples of Activities

  • Learn how to prepare and conduct an interview
  • Discover more about the podcast industry
  • Create your very own short podcast clip

Understanding Nature

Taught by: Ben McCallister and Brian MacGowan
Facilitated by: Urban Forestry and Wildlife
Age Group: 7–14
Activity Level: High
Location: John S. Wright Forestry Center in Martell Forest

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Ben McCallister and Brian MacGowan
Urban Forestry and Wildlife
7–14
High
John S. Wright Forestry Center in Martell Forest

How can you tell if a tree is healthy? How can we use the environment around us to make decisions for the future? Discover the various techniques urban forestry and wildlife specialists use to gather information from nature!

Examples of Activities

  • Determine the health of a tree through a tree-climbing workshop
  • Learn about radio telemetry, a technique used to measure animals’ movements and habits
QuestionMark_WHITE

QUESTIONS? CONTACT US!

Office of Special Events 

Phone: 765-494-0900

QuestionMark_WHITE

QUESTIONS? CONTACT US!

Office of Special Events 

Phone: 765-494-0900

Email: specialevents@purdueforlife.org