G3 comes to GV

Grandparents, grandchildren, Grand Valley to collide for one weekend in June 2012

By Derek Wolff | 11/30/11 11:40pm

Students participating in summer courses at Grand Valley State University in the summer of 2012 will share campus space will an influx of children and grandparents, at least for one weekend.

From June 26 to 28, GVSU will host its inaugural summer camp exclusively for grandparents and their grandchildren: G3 — Grandparents, Grandchildren, Grand Valley. The grandparents and their grandchildren will have the opportunity over the three-day camp to live on campus, eat in the dining halls and experience GVSU through a wide range of exciting courses.

Nearby schools like Michigan State University, Central Michigan University and Albion College have also featured similar camps. Margo Dill, program coordinator at the Regional Math and Science Center at GVSU, said the camp would be easy to assimilate at GVSU.

“It’s not a new idea but it was one we found very adaptable to Grand Valley,” Dill said. “It’s a fun thing to do, and we’re very interested in getting grandchildren and grandparents here at Grand Valley to experience the best we have.”

G3 is designed for children aged 8 to 12 and their grandparents to learn from a wide range of departments, including art, history, mathematics, science, engineering, technology and law enforcement. Families will spend three days and two nights attending a diverse range of courses, such as Greek and Roman Mythology, Ravine Romp, Introduction to Law Enforcement, Culinary Nutrition and the fearsome-sounding Zombie Brains, a course in which participants explore the inner workings of a zombie’s brain to understand and investigate its behavior.

Geology professor Peter Wampler, who will teach Ravine Romp, said he hopes participants will get a better understanding for the ecological impact of building structures and parking lots on natural environment areas, such as the ravines that surround GVSU’s Allendale Campus.

“The ravines are really fun and a beautiful place, and I think that learning about the campus and the ravines adds an interesting component to it,” Wampler said. “I hope that the participants come away with an appreciation for the uniqueness and beauty of the ravines, a better understanding of the impact of things like parking lots and buildings and the impact that they have on the ravines and what can be done about some of the those effects with how we can change them.”

Wampler’s students for the weekend will look at models of runoff and run rain experiments before heading out into the ravines.

For those interested in viewing the beauty and clarity of the night sky, astronomy professor Douglas Furton will give participants the chance to admire it through his Star Gazing course.

He also hopes that grandparents will be able to enjoy the beauty now that they quite possibly have more time on their hands.

“In my experience middle aged adults are busy with their careers and raising their families so they don’t often have time to look to the sky to appreciate what they can see, whereas grandparents, often retired, find a renewed interest that they had when they were kids and more curious about stars and planets and the moon,” Furton said.

Furton’s goals for the course are that participants leave with the ability to find and identify constellations, recognize and predict the phases of the moon and to be able to appreciate the wonder and the beauty of the night sky.

G3 is run by the Regional Math and Science Center and will feature a graduation luncheon on the final day of the camp. More information on courses and registration is available at www.gvsu.edu/g3.


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