Where it all began –
and where it’s going
Before Stanford grad Glen Tripp established the first Galileo camp in Palo Alto in 2002, he wasn’t hearing much talk in the education world about design thinking, creative problem solving or innovation strategies. Educators were a lot more focused on academic subjects such as math and literacy.
But Glen and his co-conspirators saw things a little differently. They saw a world that needed innovators and problem-solvers. They also saw a window of opportunity to complement what kids learn during the school year with a new and powerful experience—that of approaching learning fearlessly and creatively as innovators. The window was summer. And so Galileo was born.
Today, Galileo operates 42 innovation camps around the Bay Area. Everything that happens at them is informed by our Galileo Innovation Approach (affectionately known as the “GIA”). Inspired by the innovation process developed at the Stanford d.school, the GIA is a distillation of everything kids need to learn to envision and create a better world–the mindset, the knowledge and the process.
Kids absorb the GIA not by listening to boring lectures, but by acting. They internalize it through an endless series of art projects, science experiments and outdoor activities. Apparently, it’s infectious. Parents of our campers tell us their kids exude a newfound confidence. They no longer fear mistakes–they embrace them as a natural part of refining their cool idea. And they continue to create works of art and invent problem-solving contraptions out of household recyclables long after summer camp is over.
It’s been more than ten years and thousands of campers since our inception. We’re successfully igniting a new generation of fearless innovators. We hope we’re preparing each one of them to live a freer, happier life, and to make their own contribution to a brighter world we all can enjoy.
patron saint of innovation
A lot of people think of Galileo Galilei as a brilliant 16th century physicist, astronomer and philosopher. And he was. But that’s not why we named our camps after him.
We did it because Galileo was a radical innovator. He had the courage to challenge the status quo and the vision to blaze new trails. He was an outside-the-box thinker in a time when you could be persecuted and put in prison for being an outside-the-box thinker.
Galileo’s spirit is alive and kicking in our time. We experience it everywhere, in innovations in art, technology, music, medicine, engineering and communication. His is the innovator gene we’re focused on activating in every one of our campers.