2017 Themes
4 Fresh Themes
to incite innovation

Every year, we introduce rich, riveting new themes to inspire budding innovators. Each theme combines art, science and outdoor activities around a whimsical week-long narrative that’s crafted to keep kids giggling and engaged. This year we are featuring four fresh themes, each adapted for three different age groups. 


Galileo Amusement Park

The Art and Engineering of Circuses and Carnival Rides

Step right up to an inventive amusement park of your own design. Create colorful candy concessions, brightly costumed acrobats or high-flying wire circus acts. Attempt astonishing feats of engineering as you build merry-go-rounds, roller coasters or spectacular spinning rides. Grab your ticket and buckle up for a thrilling adventure at the most innovative place on earth.

Nebulas

Rising K to K

Art: Stock your concession stand with irresistibly imaginative treats. Learn to make marbleized paper, using warm and cool colors to create sweet, swirly cotton candy. Design your own color palette as you mix shades of model magic to sculpt into bright lollipops.

Science: Get your park's rides in gear. Explore the elements of centrifugal force as you build a merry-go-round with safety-tested seats and seatbelts. Engineer a tilting go-kart course designed to keep your riders speeding smoothly through as many laps as possible.

Outdoor: Gather under the big top to play parachute games, working with your team to get everyone below the same chute or run under it without being tagged. Follow the leader in amusing style as you twist, turn, slide and spin through a series of imaginary carnival rides.

Stars

1st and 2nd grades

Art: Take your artistic circus act on the road. Practice paper cutting and folding techniques as you craft a circus wagon with bright embellishments, decorative trim and radially symmetrical wheels. Learn about proportion as you create a colorfully costumed spinning acrobat. 

Science: Engineer contraptions and coasters as safe as they are fun. Investigate potential and kinetic energy as you design a rubber band-powered drop tower with carefully tested safety straps. Build a roller coaster car designed to keep its rider secure on steep, bumpy tracks. 

Outdoors: Keep your outdoor adventures balanced with a Twister-esque challenge, collaborating with your fellow Stars to achieve acrobatic arrangements. Follow the conductor's prompts to get to know your team and claim your spot on the Galileo roller coaster.

Supernovas

3rd to 5th grades

Art: Join Cirque du Galileo. Use professional sculpting wire and tools to create an Alexander Calder-inspired circus scene. Craft armatures for moveable, proportional performers and props, then use an iPad to film footage of your innovative circus act. 

Science: Design your own dizzying, hair-raising ride. Use what you learn about centripetal force and torque to build a one-of-a-kind spinning attraction. Explore electrical engineering as you wire parallel circuits, lighting LEDs to illuminate your rotating ride.

Outdoors: Step into three rings of fun in the Galileo outdoors. Think small as you work with your team to fit everyone into a rapidly shrinking clown car. Hone your coordination and collaboration skills to simultaneously juggle as many items as possible within your group. 


Galileo Makers: Move It

The Art and Science of Motion

Developed in collaboration with the Maker Education Initiative

Make marvelous inventions that really move. Take your artistic inspiration on the go with creations fueled by the wind, characters moved by magnets or movies animated with stop-motion. Engineer dizzying spinners, air-powered vehicles or hydraulic-powered marble runs. Set your innovative ideas in whirling, rolling, soaring motion as you put the "move" in the "maker movement."

Nebulas

Rising K to K

Art: Create like the wind with a batch of breezy art. Make abstract paper by blowing paint through a straw, then use it to craft your own soaring, symmetrical kite. Learn about warm and cool colors as you use textured paper, ribbons and bells to make cloud-inspired wind chimes.

Science: Take your innovative ideas out for a spin. Build a series of tops with motorized launchers and test which ones spin the longest. Experiment with a variety of materials as you engineer a colorful wheel that generates the loudest possible sound when it spins.

Outdoors: Get moving as you run, hop, jump and crawl to tag different multicolor spots in a vibrant round of Rainbow Run. Move to the music as you work with your team to fit everyone into one of many hula hoops before the song stops. 

Stars

1st and 2nd grades

Art: Breathe life into creative characters of your own design. Learn about bird's-eye view as you make a magnetized creature designed to float, fly or hover over a colorful cut-paper scene. Use flexible materials and a series of strings to craft a moveable animal marionette.

Science: Catch some inventive air as you engineer a stable vehicle designed to launch from a height, glide to the ground and continue rolling. Build a pneumatic machine complete with air-powered hinges, syringes and tubing that allow it to lift a load or extend its arm. 

Outdoors: Put a lively twist on Freeze Tag with a dance-inspired version that requires you to boogie, shimmy or strut if you get tagged. Collaborate with your team to create a rollicking, rhythmic stomp routine that moves your body from head to toe. 

Supernovas

3rd to 5th grades

Art: Break down the mechanics of movement frame by frame as you shoot your own mini stop-motion movie. Craft a paper backdrop and a character with moveable body parts, then use an iPad and the app Stop Motion Studio Pro to animate your action-packed scene.

Science: Harness the power of water to make a fast-moving marble run. Build and test a series of speedy ramps, along with a hydraulic lift to raise marbles from ground level to the top of your run. Add custom signal lights designed to activate with each passing marble.

Outdoors: Take your marble-moving skills to the great outdoors as you and your team work together to transport a marble through a track without it touching the ground. Crawl, skip or crabwalk from here to there with a movement-mixing round of Red Light, Green Light. 


Medieval Adventure

Royal Art and Inventions of the Middle Ages

Undertake an epic quest to a land of mighty monarchs and noble knights. Unlock the secrets of medieval artisans as you make jeweled crowns, royal coats of arms and castle-worthy stained glass. Build powerful catapults and fortified castles fit for kings and queens. Polish your armor and prepare for great feats of innovation in a medieval legend of your own making.

Nebulas

Rising K to K

Art: Fill your medieval adventure with finery and fantastical creatures. Sculpt, imprint and embellish dazzling royal pendants and symmetrically beaded chains to hang them from. Use paper, feathers and jewels to create brightly colored, richly textured dragon puppets.

Science: Build a strong, stately, Nebula-size castle. Design a working drawbridge and crane for your royal residence, along with moving additions powered by hinges and axles. Investigate what shapes make sturdy structures as you design and strength-test a giant castle wall.

Outdoors: Journey beyond the castle walls to hone your collaboration skills on a horse-and-knight obstacle course. Suit up for a medieval scavenger hunt, completing team challenges and collecting clues to help you unearth a royal treasure.

Stars

1st and 2nd grades

Art: Outfit your court in royal style. Design a foam stamp etched with your personal coat of arms, then use it to print and pattern a majestic fabric surcoat. Learn about symmetry as you craft, paint and decorate a finely filigreed imperial chalice.

Science: Mount a mighty castle defense. Use the principles of potential energy to engineer and test a range of far-flinging catapults. Construct a reinforced castle with sturdy tresses and drawbridges built to withstand a beating from a battering ram.

Outdoors: Take to the courtyard for a Galileo-style jousting match, armed with pool-noodle swords with balloon tips. Work together with your team to make a path across the castle moat, getting everyone to shore without falling in. 

Supernovas

3rd to 5th grades

Art: Give your castle a stunning new view with your own stained glass art. Use puffy paint to create leading lines and a medieval-inspired symbol on a plexiglass pane. Add vibrant color and rich texture using real glass paints, then mount your masterpiece in a decorative frame.

Science: Master the physics of medieval weapons. Build a colossal catapult with a strong foundation and sturdy frame, complete with hinging throwing arm and trajectory-tested bucket. Experiment to see which materials fly the farthest as you design customized catapult projectiles.

Outdoors: Put a Middle Ages spin on outdoor fun. Work with your team to lower the legendary sword Excalibur to the ground without anyone losing their grip. Get moving with a medieval-inspired game of tag called Giants, Wizards and Elves.


African Safari

The Art and Science of the Serengeti

Embark on a sweeping safari adventure. Explore the Serengeti as you create art inspired by Maasai beadwork, traditional batiks and African animals. Get into step with the continent's wildest creatures, building balancing giraffes, jumping bush babies or articulated animal galimotos. Hop in your jeep and set off across the savanna on the most innovative, unforgettable safari ever.

Nebulas

Rising K - K

Art: Bring the animals of the Serengeti to life with a large-scale collage featuring torn-paper giraffes, zebras, cheetahs and lush savanna grass. Learn about symmetrical design as you craft a wearable creation inspired by the bright beaded necklaces of the Maasai people.

Science: Take your safari adventure to new heights as you engineer a zip-lining African Fish Eagle that can carry prey and keep its balance in flight. Use what you learn about strong shapes to construct a toothy crocodile jaw designed to snap up hard-to-grab objects. 

Outdoors: Step, soar and slither through the savanna. Move like a series of African animals in a safari-themed version of Follow the Leader. Work together with your team in the traditional Zambian game Banyoka to complete challenges as an interconnected snake. 

Stars

1st and 2nd grades

Art: Bring the animals of the Serengeti to life with a large-scale collage featuring torn-paper giraffes, zebras, cheetahs and lush savanna grass. Learn about symmetrical design as you craft a wearable creation inspired by the bright beaded necklaces of the Maasai people.

Science: Take your safari adventure to new heights as you engineer a zip-lining African Fish Eagle that can carry prey and keep its balance in flight. Use what you learn about strong shapes to construct a toothy crocodile jaw designed to snap up hard-to-grab objects. 

Outdoors: Step, soar and slither through the savanna. Move like a series of African animals in a safari-themed version of Follow the Leader. Work together with your team in the traditional Zambian game Banyoka to complete challenges as an interconnected snake. 

Supernovas

3rd to 5th grades

Art: Explore the colors and characteristics of Serengeti birds, choosing one to inspire your own African-style sculpture. Focus on realistic shapes and consistent color schemes as you craft its carefully decoupaged body, sturdy wire appendages and brightly beaded wings. 

Science: Let your engineering skills run wild. Learn about galimotos—African push toys made from found objects—then build your own animal-themed version. Design articulated legs that appear to walk as your galimoto's wheels turn and a linkage system to move its head or tail. 

Outdoors: Take to the savanna for traditional African activities like Mbube, Mbube, a lion-and-impala chase game. Collaborate with your team to generate a range of Serengeti-inspired sounds that combine to create a unique safari soundtrack.