Majors

Grandparents University offers a wide range of “majors” taught by UW faculty, staff, and graduate students from disciplines across campus. You and your grandchild will stay together in the same major for the entire two-day program. An adult must accompany each child at all times during the activities related to the major.

Please select majors based on your grandchild’s age, their physical activity level, and your physical activity level. Each major’s age range has been carefully determined based on the focus and scope of the activities.

Guide to Physical Activity Levels

Levels of physical activity vary among majors and field trips, so please read the descriptions carefully and choose what best suits your physical abilities:

  • 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.
  • High: Significant movement and physical activity, including walking or hiking outdoors.

Every attempt will be made to honor accessibility requests made in advance.

ANIMAL ECOLOGY FIELD CAMP

Animal EcologySessions: I, II, III
Ages: All Ages (7-14)

Lead instructor: Dr. Justin Hougham, Associate Professor, Director of Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center, State Specialist in Environmental Education at UW–Madison Division of Extension Natural Resources Institute

Participants will become outdoor detectives investigating animal clues and signs on UW–Madison’s campus and on a rural field site at Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center. Participants will learn how to identify animal signs and why natural history interpretation is an important tool for understanding wildlife. Students will also collect macroinvertebrates from the Wisconsin River to better understand the role different animals serve in their niche and what their presence can teach us about our ecosystems. Students will collect qualitative and quantitative data related to an animal’s adaptations documenting their experience in a story at the end of the program.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Search for macroinvertebrates and use dichotomies keys and microscopes to figure out what is living in the Wisconsin River and what it means
  • Explore multiple field sites using professional grade field technology to compare urban and rural animal ecology
  • Write a story using your data, pictures you took, and your imagination

Physical Activity Level: High. Significant movement and physical activity, including walking or hiking outdoors.

Note to participants: Travel to Upham Woods by bus will take about an hour. Participants should come dressed for the weather with closed toe shoes. There will be walking between multiple locations sometimes on uneven terrain. The lessons will take place largely outside. Part of the session will include wearing waders (for those who want) and macroinvertebrate sampling in a shallow slough with no current.


ART

Sessions: I, II, III
Ages: Session I: 7 to 10, Session II: 9 to 14, Session III: 11 to 14

Lead Instructor: Candie Waterloo, Curator of Education, Chazen Muesem of Art

Bring your imagination and learn to see in three dimensions as we explore the wonderful world of sculpture! Using inspiration from objects in the Chazen Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection, we’ll experiment with papier-mâché, foil, plaster, and more to create one-of-a-kind sculptural works of art. No experience is necessary, but a willingness to play is required!

Anticipated Activities:

  • Construct an armature to support a free-standing sculpture
  • Tour select galleries in the Chazen Museum of Art on an “inspiration” hunt
  • Learn sculptural techniques to include modeling, carving, or casting

Physical Activity Level: Medium. Be prepared to get messy and if possible, bring a smock or apron. Class will require minimal walking as we explore the galleries. Walking up flights of stairs expected.


ASTRONOMY

Astronomy

Session: III
Ages: 7-10

Lead Instructor: Kay Kriewald, outreach specialist, Department of Astronomy, College of Letters & Science

Become a stargazer and explore the night sky! Participants will become acquainted with the constellations and other interesting objects in the night sky and learn how to find them.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Make an amazing scale model of the planets out of modeling clay
  • Learn why we see different phases of the moon and make a model that shows them
  • Construct a star finder to identify constellations
  • Tour historic Washburn Observatory

Physical Activity Level: Low. Participants will visit the Washburn Observatory, which is accessible only by stairs.


BIOTECHNOLOGY

Sessions: I, II, III
Ages: 7-10

Lead Instructor: Tom Zinnen, outreach program manager, UW Biotechnology Center

Explore the unknown and become a scientist by running your own experiments and other hands-on investigations in a real laboratory! You’ll extract DNA from wheat germ, tour the DNA and protein facilities at the UW Biotechnology Center, experiment with the enzymes used in cheese-making, and run an electrophoresis experiment to analyze samples of “alien blood.”

Anticipated Activities:

  • Test and probe a sample of DNA from salmon
  • Build a human DNA model to take home
  • Design an experiment to test whether skim or whole milk makes better bubbles
  • Learn to use a $200 micropipette to measure and move tiny amounts of liquids in a lab
  • Play “DNA detective” to solve a biotechnology mystery

Physical Activity Level: Low to medium. Some movement and walking required between classrooms and venues, which may include stairs.

Make sure to note any allergies on your registration form.


CHINESE STUDIES

Chinese Language and LiteratureSessions: I, II, III
Ages: All Ages (7-14)

Lead Instructor: Xiaoyi Sun, Instructor of Chinese, Madison College; PhD in Department of Linguistics, UW-Madison

Our students will experience Chinese pinyin, tones and characters through games, music and other hands-on learning activities. They will also explore Chinese culture through cultural activities such as Chinese Calligraphy Day and a field trip to Chazen Museum of Art.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Learn Chinese pinyin, tones and characters through fun learning activities such as songs, music, interactive map, matching game, telephone game, four corner game and role-play game, etc
  • Learn Chinese calligraphy
  • Explore the Asian collections at the Chazen Museum of Art

Activity level: Low to Medium. Some movement and walking required between classrooms and venues, which may include stairs. There will be a walk to Chazen Museum of Art.


COMPUTER SCIENCE

Computer Science

Session: I, II, III
Ages: 7-14

Lead Instructor: Andrea Arpaci-Dusseau, Professor, Department of Computer Sciences

Computer scientists do more than just use computers; computer scientists solve problems with directions so precise that even a computer can follow the steps. In this major, you will learn some of the creative aspects of computer science, such as how to create your own interactive art, animated stories, and games in the Scratch programming environment.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Learn how to program in Scratch, a friendly programming environment designed for beginners
  • Use Scratch to tell a joke, animate your favorite pictures, and answer quiz questions
  • Learn how computers work, from binary numbers up to algorithms!

Physical Activity Level: Low.


EARTH’S CLIMATE

Earth's ClimateSession: II
Ages: 11-14

Lead Instructor: Feng He, Associate Scientist, Center for Climate Research

What are the BIG 10 events during the Earth’s 4.5-billion year history? What were the climates during these events? Participants will explore the evolution of the Earth’s environment and climate from its beginning to the human transformation of it.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Learn what the changes of Earth’s climate through its history tell us about its future
  • Interactive exploration of the risk of sea level rise for your favorite coastal cities in a computer lab
  • Visit UW Geology Museum

Physical Activity Level: Low. Most activities and tours take place indoors, with some walking required. Majors will have mostly seated activities.


ENTOMOLOGY

Entomology

Session: I
Ages: 7-10

Lead Instructor: PJ Liesch, insect diagnostician, Department of Entomology, College of Agricultural & Life Sciences

We’ll learn about the biology, ecology, diversity, and importance of the insects around us through a number of hands-on activities, field trips, and interactive mini-lectures. Students will participate in an insect-collecting expedition along the Lakeshore Path and create their own curated insect collection. Students will also develop observation skills by keeping a scientific journal during the course.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Take field trips to observe and collect insect specimens.
  • Learn about specimen curation and create an insect collection to take home.
  • View and/or hold live insect specimens (tropical cockroaches, beetles, tarantulas, etc.)

Physical Activity Level: High. Field trip location is a few blocks away from the classroom.

Note to participants: 1—2 field trips are included in the major (weather permitting). Have proper clothing to hike outdoors to collect insects. Allergy note: Stinging insects could potentially be encountered.


ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Sessions: I, II, III
Ages: 9-14

Lead Instructor: Julie Wood; Emeritus, WI School of Business — Small Business Development Center

The participants will learn what an entrepreneur is, what they do and the characteristics that make up a successful entrepreneur. The participants will choose a business idea based on their talents and skills, create marketing materials and develop that idea using the business model canvas. The participants will experience running a business by playing the Biz Ops Game.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Play the Biz Ops Game—teams of 4 run paper airplane businesses.
  • Choose a business idea and create marketing materials.
  • Create a Business Model Canvas for their business idea.

Physical Activity Level: Medium. Some movement and walking required between classrooms and venues, which may include stairs.


FRENCH AND ITALIAN STUDIES

Sessions: I, II, III
Ages: 9-14

Lead Instructor: Niklous Koehler, PhD, Department of French and Italian Studies, College of Letters & Sciences

Participants will learn basic French and Italian phrases and introductory conversation. Grandparents and grandchildren will also compose their own French and Italian meals, and will learn French and Italian food traditions.

Anticipated Activities:

  • A hands-on cooking lesson to create both French and Italian meals
  • Learn about French and Italian food culture and compare both food cultures to each other as well as American food culture
  • Learn French and Italian greetings and basic introductory conversations

Physical Activity Level: Low.


GENETICS

Session: II
Ages: 11-14

Lead Instructor: Kimberly Anderson, Genetic Counselor, Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene

Put on a lab coat and become a geneticist! Learn about how your inherited genes influence who you are and how your body functions. Tour the cytogenetics and newborn screening departments at the State Laboratory of Hygiene and work hands-on with the chemists and cytogeneticists to learn how they use genetic information to help sick babies.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Extract DNA and learn how it is unique to everyone.
  • Use microscopes to identify chromosomes in cells and then test your knowledge with a chromosome identification and matching activity.
  • Tour the newborn screening laboratory and learn about the testing for treatable genetic conditions performed on all babies at just a few days of life.

Physical Activity Level: Low to medium: mostly seated activities that take place indoors, but there will be some movement and walking required between classrooms, including some stairs (elevator available).

Note to participants: Please wear closed-toe shoes and pants.


GEOLOGY: ROCKS OF WISCONSIN

Geology

Session: I
Ages: All ages (7-14)

Lead Instructor: Esther K. Stewart, Geologist, WI Geological & Natural History Survey, UW-Madison Division of Extension

We will learn about the rocks of Wisconsin. Students will go home with a rock collection and an understanding of Wisconsin’s geologic past. They will do activities that create an understanding of our stratigraphy (rock layers) and of geologic time.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Explore hand samples of WI rocks and learn how they formed
  • Create a geologic time scale out of rope or toilet paper to understand the enormity of geologic time recorded by WI rocks
  • Create geologic maps and cross-sections of Wisconsin to understand the spatial- and time-distribution of the rocks that underlie the state.

Physical Activity Level: Low.


KINESIOLOGY

Kinesiology

Session: I
Ages: 9-14

Lead Instructor: Steven Wright, assistant professor, department of Kinesiology, School of Medicine and Public Health

In this major, participants will learn about the movement of the body. This could mean learning about how we move, what happens inside our body as we move, or how we can help people who have trouble moving. Participants will tour many different laboratories and get to participate in fun activities!

Anticipated Activities:

  • Get to explore human body parts
  • Tour different scientific laboratories
  • Learn how physical activities bring people together

Physical Activity Level: Medium to High.

Notes to participants: Participants will need to wear athletic shoes.


LIMNOLOGY

Limnology

Sessions: II, III
Ages: 9-14

Lead Instructor: Anne Moser, Senior Special Librarian, Wisconsin Water Library

Lake Mendota is the perfect place to spend a summer day and explore a freshwater ecosystem. As a limnologist, you will test the water for oxygen and temperature and take samples of the lake’s murky bottom aboard Limnos, a 28-foot research boat. You will join our Sea Grant experts to explore the ecology of our Great Lakes. You will also learn about Wisconsin’s groundwater and work with water chemists in our laboratory.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Field trip on the R/V Limnos, a 28-foot research boat, to collect water samples from Lake Mendota
  • Learn all about what makes the Great Lakes great and how to identify Great Lakes fish
  • Learn about remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and assemble your own for testing in the flume tank

Physical Activity Level: High: Significant movement and physical activity, including walking or hiking outdoors. Please note: participants will be getting in and out of a small research vessel.

Note to participants: You’ll take water samples and board a boat from a wooden-plank pier. Please wear appropriate footwear. There is no formal seating on the boat. You’ll be standing or sitting on the gunnels for approximately 90 minutes. There is some outside walking and climbing of stairs required. Be prepared for weather – boat will go out in all weather except for lightning, including heat and rain. Be sure to cover for sun or rain and bring a hat if you would like to.


MEAT SCIENCE

Meat ScienceSessions: I, II
Ages: 9-14

Lead Instructor: Jeff Sindelar, associate professor and Extension Meat Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences

Have you ever wondered where chicken nuggets come from or why sausages are so tasty? In this major, you will have a chance to be a meat scientist and a meat processor for a few hours. During the sessions, we will cut up chickens and make (and eat) different products such as chicken nuggets and sausages while learning about the science of meat processing every step of the way!

Anticipated Activities:

  • Cut up a chicken into different parts to learn how the different parts are utilized
  • Make chicken nuggets and sausages
  • Learn about the science of meat processing

Physical Activity Level: Medium/High.

Note to participants: Bring a coat/sweater as we will be in a 50-degree Fahrenheit room. Wear long pants and closed-toe shoes.


METEOROLOGY

Meteorology

Session: III
Ages: 11-14

Lead Instructor: Margaret Mooney, Director of Education and Public Outreach, Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS)

Learn about forces that create our local weather patterns and UW contributions to the field of satellite meteorology. In this major, you’ll view real-time imagery of Earth and its atmosphere on a 3-D globe and investigate weather phenomena like tornadoes and hurricanes via interactive computer activities. You’ll also test your orientation skills by identifying campus landmarks on satellite images while comparing them to your birds-eye view from the roof of our 16-story building.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Build an anemometer and a model weather satellite
  • Assemble a solar bead bracelet to learn about the electromagnetic spectrum
  • Take a virtual field trip to Antarctica
  • Learn how scientists first studied snow crystals before designing your own
  • Enjoy a breathtaking view of the capital city from the second-tallest building on campus
  • Watch a weather balloon launch

Physical Activity Level: Low.


MUSIC: BIG RED BIRDIE BLUES

MusicSessions: I, II, III
Ages: 7-10

Lead Instructor: Jamie Henke, Distinguished Faculty Associate, Division of Continuing Studies

We will explore the structure of the blues, talk about the three chords that make up the blues, and how they are organized into a pattern. We will learn about making music using call and response, and we will also learn how to scat sing. We will also learn about five different African birds and their songs, and use those songs for our scat syllables. In the process we will also explore diversity, and learn that we need everyone to take part and share their different talents and abilities.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Play the blues on the piano together, using an easy method that works for everyone.
  • Learn a song that incorporates the blues, scat singing, bird calls, and a call and response section based on UW-Madison tunes.
  • Draw listening maps of excerpts of UW-Madison songs played by the UW Marching Band.
  • If we have time, we could also learn the dance moves associated with the African birds and do some drumming.

Physical Activity Level: Low.

Note to participants: You may want to wear flat shoes appropriate for some movement in case we have time to learn the dance moves associated with the African birds.


NURSING

Nursing

Session: II
Ages: 9-14

Lead Instructor: Britta Lothary, clinical instructor, School of Nursing

Participants will explore some places where nurses work and learn more about what nurses do. You’ll practice basic nursing skills using human-patient simulators in our skills lab at the School of Nursing. You’ll also try computer games designed to teach medical terms and learn about how nurses keep patients safe.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Learn about different places that nurse’s work and visit Med Flight (as long as the helicopter isn’t in the air!)
  • Explore the Center of Technology Enhanced Nursing (CTEN)
  • Learn about ways to prevent infections, the components of blood, and how to change a wound dressing

Physical Activity Level: Medium. Some walking (mostly indoor).

Note to participants: Please wear comfortable shoes.


NUTRITIONAL SCIENCE

Nutritional Science

Sessions: I, II, III
Ages: 7-10

Lead Instructors: Victoria Flores and Jevin Lortie, Graduate Research Assistants in the department of Nutrition Science

Science and chemistry concepts are explored through making predictions, experimenting, observing how food changes, and learning how and where food grows. Kids will learn how to make healthy food choices and be able to identify how nutrients help us grow. We will also focus on art and creativity with hands-on and interactive activities as we explore our digestive system and see how food gets from the ground to our plate and then finally to different parts of the body.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Peek Inside Your Body: Where does food go when we eat it? Students will learn the path of food in the body from digestion to utilization to excretion in a larger than life model
  • What’s on my plate? Learn about vitamins and minerals we get from our food

Physical Activity Level: Low.


PLANTS AND PEOPLE

Plants and People

Sessions: I, II, III
Ages: 7-10

Lead Instructor: Elin Filbey, Outreach Specialist in the Department of Horticulture

Learn how the Allen Centennial Garden’s gardening practices are helping to mitigate the effects of urban life and climate change by connecting people to plants. In this major, participants will get their hands dirty and leave with a new-found appreciation for plants.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Create “seed bombs” that will bring beauty to an otherwise bare space
  • Check out Allen Centennial Garden’s bee hives, learn how bees communicate with each other, and taste honey
  • Learn about Slow Flower movement and assemble your own bouquet or flower crown

Physical Activity Level: High. Significant movement and physical activity, including walking or hiking outdoors.

Note to participants: Allen Centennial Garden has NO indoor facilities on site. We will be outside for the entire session so please dress for the weather and the possibility of getting dirty. Participants may come into contact with bees or other allergens found in nature. There is alternative classroom space for inclement weather.


PLANT SCIENCE

Sessions: II, III
Ages: All ages (7-14)

Lead Instructor: Donna Fernandez, professor, department of Botany

Participants will learn that plants are more active than most people think, explore plant diversity in the Botany greenhouse and gardens, and set up their own experiments to watch movement in plants.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Conduct plant tropism and water transport experiments
  • Search for useful plants in the greenhouse
  • Isolate DNA from strawberries

Physical Activity Level: Low.


PODCASTING

PodcastingSessions: I, II
Ages: 11-14

Lead Instructor: Sara McKinnon, associate professor, department of Communications

Participants will learn the essentials of good storytelling, using their family histories and stories, and gain practice in using technology to record and edit a podcast that spotlights a story that they developed together.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Learn what makes for a good story
  • Practice interviewing techniques to capture stories
  • Record and edit a podcast that can be shared with friends and the community.

PUBLIC SPEAKING!

Public SpeakingSessions: I, II, III
Ages: 7-14

Lead Instructor: Sarah Jedd, Associate Faculty Associate, Communication Arts

Discover what makes a good speech, how to craft a good speech, and how to deliver a speech effectively.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Discuss elements of effective speaking
  • Spend time crafting speeches
  • Have the opportunity to deliver your speech to the class

Physical Activity Level: Low. Most activities and tours take place indoors, with some walking required. Majors will have mostly seated activities.

Note to participants: Be prepared to speak in front of others.


RENEWABLE ENERGY STUDIES

Renewable Energy

Sessions: I, III
Ages: 11-14

Lead Instructor: Allison Bender, Outreach and Events Coordinator at the Wisconsin Energy Institute

Become an energy expert and learn how researchers are working together to advance the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. How can we make the best windmill? Can prairie plants replace petroleum in our cars and trucks? Everybody is needed—from engineers to artists to politicians. Join us to learn why renewable energy is so exciting and put your new knowledge to work with hands-on activities.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Design a windmill and test it to see how much power you can generate
  • Conduct an experiment to see how much ethanol you can make with baker’s yeast
  • Learn about native “energy plants” that are being used to make fuels and other products

Physical Activity Level: Medium.

Note to participants: Please wear closed-toe shoes for being in the lab, bring a water bottle, and dress for the weather.


RESEARCHING CANCER CURES

Researching Cancer Cures

Session: I
Ages: 11-14

Lead Instructor: Nathan Sherer, associate professor, Oncology and Molecular Virology

UW-Madison’s Carbone Cancer Center is world-renowned for cutting edge research into the molecular and cellular basis of cancer and cancer-related disease. This basic research is essential to devising the next generation of new and better therapeutic strategies. In this major, you will learn how a cancer research project is born, how the key questions are identified and tackled, what a biomedical research lab looks like, and some of the exciting techniques involved.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Search for cancer mutations in genes using advanced molecular techniques
  • Study how cells and tissues change during cancer progression using microscopy
  • Learn about viruses that cause cancer using genetic analysis, protein modeling and fluorescence imaging

Physical Activity Level: Medium. Participants may have to use one set of stairs.

Note to participants: All activities are indoors. Personal protective equipment including lab coats and eye protection will be provided and worn must be worn.


RESTORATION ECOLOGY

Resoration Ecology

Sessions: II, III
Ages: 7-10

Lead Instructor: Jennifer Mitchell, Precollege and Community Education Specialist, UW–Madison Arboretum

Participants will investigate the Arboretum’s Native Plant Garden, Curtis Prairie, and Teal Pond Wetland to learn about plant and animal habitats. Through these investigations and close observations of Wisconsin native plants and insects, participants learn about pollination, invasive species, the importance of restoring lands to native habitats, and research being done at the Arboretum.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Investigate how plants make seeds, and make seed balls
  • Remove invasive honey suckle bushes by playing tug-a-suckle
  • Hike to the pond to catch and observe water critters

Physical Activity Level: High

Note to participants: Be prepared for the weather and mosquitoes. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat. Bring a rain coat if rain is in the forecast. On Friday, wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, and a long-sleeve shirt.


RUSSIAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Russian Studies

Sessions: I, II
Ages: 7-14

Lead Instructor: Nancy Heingartner, Assistant Director for Outreach, Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS)

Students in this course will study the Russian alphabet and will learn to use several common phrases. They will sing a Russian song, play a traditional Russian game, and will learn about some of the highlights of Russian history, geography, and culture. They will also sample some delicious Russian foods. Learning will happen through discussions, games, small-group interactions, and a variety of hands-on activities.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Write your name and introduce yourself in Russian.
  • Sing a song in Russian.
  • Understand a little about Russia’s fascinating history, culture, and food.

Physical Activity Level: Medium. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing (We’ll be doing some moving around.).

Note to participants: If you have a significant food allergy, please provide that information during registration.


SOCIAL ROBOTICS

Social Robotics

Sessions: I, II, III
Ages: 11-14

Lead Instructor: Bilge Mutlu, associate professor, Department of Computer Science

Come meet a robot! In this major, you’ll learn how researchers are developing social robots for our everyday lives. Participants will study the social cues that these robots use to interact more easily with humans. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn how to program a robot to emulate some of these characteristics.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Learn how social robotics are involved in our lives
  • Observe human behavior and translate behaviors into programs
  • Program robots to emulate social characteristics

SOUTH POLE SCIENCE

Session: III
Ages: 9-14

Lead Instructor: Jim Madsen, Outreach Director, Wisconsin IceCube Particles Astrophysics

Join us for a hands-on exploration of IceCube, the biggest and strangest telescope in the world. Learn about the lives of the men and women who are working in the extreme South Pole environment to develop new ways to explore the universe. You’ll learn about neutrinos — the mysterious cosmic messengers detected by IceCube — and what they tell us about the composition of matter, cosmic explosions, and more.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Become an ice driller! Ice drilling was the method used to build the IceCube detector in the Antarctic glacier. It takes about 40 hours to melt one hole at the South Pole!
  • “How do you see particles?” Rotate in small groups to show different examples of detectors–cloud chamber, DOM, ARA antennas, and cosmic watch detector.
  • Learn how to “catch” neutrinos–invisible particles that some call ghost particles–with a sand box!

Physical Activity Level: Medium.


TURFGRASS AND SOIL SCIENCE

Session: III
Ages: All ages (7-14)

Lead Instructor: Doug Soldat, Professor, Department of Soil Science

Learn about the science of the suburban environment! In this major you will explore grasses, insects, fungi, and soils while learning about how scientists study these things to enhance the quality of life in urban areas while protecting the environment.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Learn about soils in a soil pit and create a model of a soil monolith
  • Use microscopes to study the tiny organisms in the soil
  • Learn about and play soccer and tennis on the best natural turfgrass playing surfaces

Physical Activity Level: Medium. Some walking between buildings and across turfgrass research field plots

Note to participants: Bring sunscreen.


VETERINARY MEDICINE

Veterinary Medicine

Session: I
Ages: 9-14

Lead Instructor: Kim Lord Plummer, senior lecturer, Department of Comparative Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine

Participants will work with live animals (dogs, cows and horses) to learn the basics of physical examination and handling. We explore comparative anatomical features, drawing on knowledge of the human form, and the basics of health and well-care in our veterinary patients. We explore the depth and breadth of the veterinary profession through many fun, hands-on activities.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Perform a physical exam on a dog and a horse; explore the ruminant stomach of a cow
  • Analyze radiographs (x-rays) from real patients seen in the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
  • Explore the hearts and brains of various veterinary species with hands-on activities

Physical Activity Level: Medium.

Note to participants: Travel outside the country or contact with farm animals 14 days prior to the start of the program is prohibited. We are in contact with live (healthy) animals which may be an allergy concern for some.


WILDLIFE ECOLOGY

Wildlife Ecology

Sessions: I, II, III
Ages: 7-10

Lead Instructor: Jamie Nack, Extension Senior Wildlife Outreach Specialist, Dept. of Forest & Wildlife Ecology

Take a walk on the wild side! In this major, you’ll learn about dozens of Wisconsin’s fascinating wild animals, from ruby-throated hummingbirds to black bears. Then, pick up the basic techniques of bird identification and bird-watching. Finally, test your new skills by going on a scavenger hunt around campus in search of wildlife and the clues they’ve left behind.

Anticipated Activities:

  • Make plaster animal tracks
  • Tour the wildlife “museum” and see hundreds of specimens
  • Explore Lakeshore Path in search of wildlife

Physical Activity Level: High.

Note to participants: This program will occur rain or shine. Dress appropriately for the weather. If you have binoculars, please bring them along.