2016 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 feature four fresh themes, each adapted for three different age groups. 


Space Explorers

Cosmic Art & Astronaut Science

Blast off on a high-flying mission to the final frontier. Explore the creative potential of the cosmos as you make galaxy mobiles, moonscapes and extraterrestrial-inspired art. Engineer launch-ready rockets, Mars-ready rovers or the tools you'll need to survive in outer space. Take one innovative leap for camper kind on an extraordinary voyage to infinity and beyond.

Nebulas

Pre-K to K

Art: See the universe through a moon dweller's eyes. Use a variety of mediums, textures and blending techniques to create a heavenly lunar landscape. Practice careful cutting and folding as you craft a bright, symmetrical extraterrestrial.

Science: Engineer gear for a round trip to space. Build pressure-propelled straw spaceships to blast you off and sturdy grabbers to scoop up moon rock samples. Design and impact test a cushioned reentry capsule to ensure a safe voyage home.

Outdoors: Launch into the outdoors for out-of-this-world fun. Work with your team to follow mission- critical orders from your space commander. Play a rousing round of Extreme Galaxy Hopscotch full of asteroids, spaceships and black holes.

Stars

1st and 2nd grades

Art: Use the cosmos as your canvas. Practice marbling, painting and printing techniques to make glittering planets and comets for a glow-in-the-dark galaxy mobile. Explore positive and negative space as you sketch and construct an otherworldly UFO shadow puppet.

Science: Prepare for takeoff as you engineer aerodynamic water rockets with strong, steady trajectories and secure landing systems. Use what you learn about stability and suspension to build a lightweight moon buggy designed for high performance in low gravity.

Outdoors: Investigate the messy side of interstellar adventure as you lead your partner safely through a field of space junk. Work with a team of your fellow Stars using string and rubber bands to move radioactive space rocks without touching them.

Supernovas

3rd to 5th grades

Art: Explore the outer limits of your imagination as you create a wacky, one-of-a-kind alien. Brainstorm ideas, sketch a design and cut body shapes and appendages out of felt or foam. Brush up on your threading and sewing skills, then stuff, stitch and embellish your inventive E.T.

Science: Build the perfect set of wheels for a Martian mission. Learn about electrical engineering and sturdy construction as you make a motorized Mars rover complete with drive system circuitry, innovative frame and custom attachments of your own design.

Outdoors: Take your space odyssey to the great outdoors, trying to tag the other team's Jedis in the camp favorite Star Wars. Put your communication skills to the test as you work with your team to move a meteorite from one station pole to another.


National Parks Adventure

The Art and Science of America’s Outdoor Treasures

Celebrate the National Park Service's 100th birthday with a journey into the wild. Create art influenced by the animals and awe-inspiring scenery of Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and Olympic National Park. Build backpacking gear and explore the science of flying condors, leaping grasshoppers or biting bears. Lace up your hiking boots and point your compass toward innovation on the outdoor adventure of a lifetime.

Nebulas

Pre-K to K

Art: Have an epic artistic adventure in the Grand Canyon. Get inspired by the region's reptilian dwellers, creating a series of textured stamps to make a patterned paper lizard. Practice color mixing and paper-tearing techniques as you craft a layered canyon collage.

Science: Explore the highs and lows of the canyon. Construct a soaring balsa wood condor with an aerodynamic shape and rubber band launch mechanism. Dive deep into the Colorado River, using what you learn about buoyancy to design a water-safe life jacket for a mini rafter.

Outdoors: Take to the outdoors for an imaginary expedition through the Grand Canyon, zigzagging down trails, crawling into caves and swimming in the Colorado River. Jump over slithering serpents without getting bitten in the game Snakes in the Canyon.

Stars

1st and 2nd grades

Art: Discover Olympic National Park through the art of its indigenous people. Create a salmon sketch in the style of the Pacific Northwest tribes, etching your design into the lid of a box. Use watercolor, oil pastel and three-dimensional embellishments to craft a textured animal totem pole.

Science: Get familiar with the bear necessities of backpacking. Learn some structural engineering basics, then build and test a bear-proof trashcan lid. Investigate the mechanics of levers as you design a set of bear jaws that can crush a cup and pick up a paper fish.

Outdoors: Introduce the animals of Olympic to the Galileo outdoors. Identify the park's wildest inhabitants in a round of I Spy with a tag-inspired twist. Work with your team to retrieve the ranger's keys from a sleeping bear without waking him up.

Supernovas

3rd to 5th grades

Art: Seek inspiration in Ansel Adams' Yosemite images. Sketch, cut out and paint elements of an iconic park scene to layer into a landscape diorama. Experiment with focus and composition as you photograph your work, then transform your pictures into tradable custom postcards.

Science: Gear up for a hike in the High Sierra with a backpack you build yourself. Explore ergonomics as you build a full-sized PVC frame molded to fit the curvature of your back. Consider stability and functionality as you reinforce your pack and design its straps, buckles and pockets.

Outdoors: Blaze a trail for outdoor fun with Yosemite-inspired games. Work with your fellow Supernovas to forge a path out of the woods without taking a wrong step. Transform yourself into a rock, tree or mountain as you race through a nature-themed relay.


Galileo Makers: Toys

The Art and Science of Toys and Games

Developed in collaboration with the Maker Education Initiative

Embrace your inner toymaker with playful projects inspired by real-life makers. Design classic cars, kaleidoscopes or whimsical wands to add to your toy chest. Put a creative twist on traditional games as you engineer your own portable mini golf course, spin-art spinner or pinball machine. Bring your innovative ideas out to play for an unforgettable experience that's all fun and games.

Nebulas

Pre-K to K

Art: Add artistic flair to traditional toys. Learn about the Native American game Stick Dice, then use oil pastels and watercolors to pattern and paint your own version. Practice printing techniques and crafting symmetrical shapes as you make mix-and-match pieces for a bug-inspired wand.

Science: Tee up some miniature fun. Use your knowledge of friction and stable structures to build a portable mini golf course, complete with sturdy putter. Unlock the magic of magnets as you design an obstacle-filled board game with pieces you maneuver using a magnetized wand.

Outdoors: Bring some parachutes out to play, working with your team to turn them into giant mushrooms, secret hideouts and whirling merry-go-rounds. Plunder as many toys as possible without getting tagged by the pirate in a swashbuckling game of Toy Island.

Stars

1st and 2nd grades

Art: Make playful art that rides and rolls. Use paper-crafting techniques to construct a custom 3-D vehicle. Learn how to build figures out of simple shapes as you use wood, paper, pipe cleaners and pompoms to make expressive roly-poly toys that wobble but won't fall down.

Science: Take your electrical engineering skills out for a spin. Wire basic circuits to power a spectacular spin art machine that turns simple-looking drawings into eye-opening optical illusions. Investigate the science of slides and slopes as you build your own multi-ramp marble run.

Outdoors: Tossing toys is the name of the game as you try to move your mess into someone else's space in Clean Your Room. Wield the powers of collaboration and sneakiness to slip past the chicken keeper and rescue your team's favorite toy.

Supernovas

3rd to 5th grades

Art: Toy with line, shape and color as you craft a kaleidoscope from mirrors, tubes and your own abstract artwork. Learn the mechanics of animating, using iPads and a stop motion app to transform a large-scale collage into a dazzling kaleidoscopic animation.

Science: Put your own twist on a classic arcade game. Learn about levers and fulcrums as you build a pinball machine complete with flippers, bumpers and spring-powered plungers. Wire a custom playfield for your game with motorized elements like kickers and light-up targets.

Outdoors: Break out your game face and listening ears for Boiler Burst, a fast-moving mix of storytelling and tag. Roll with your fellow Supernovas to make a human marble maze, propelling a marble from one point to another without touching it or letting it drop.


Galileo Olympics

Ancient Greek Art and the Science of Sports

Go for the gold as you take on a triumphant Olympic adventure. Craft victory wreaths, Olympic medals and art inspired by Greek gods and goddesses. Investigate the science behind athletes and their equipment as you build balancing gymnasts, archery bows, Paralympic wheelchairs or grappling judo robots. Light your torch and prove your mettle at the most innovative summer games in history.

Nebulas

Pre-K to K

Art:Get fired up for the games. Create your own Olympic torch, complete with patterned handle and mixed media "flames." Practice sgraffito and paper-cutting techniques to craft a symmetrical pair of Hermes-inspired winged sandals.

Science: Explore the science of well-balanced athletes. Use your knowledge of levers and center of mass to engineer vaulting gymnasts designed to land on their feet. Get rolling with the physics of Paralympic wheelchairs as you build a small-scale, race-ready chair.

Outdoors: Unleash your inner Olympian as you row, run and swim your way through a sports-themed round of Simon Says. Work with your team to put your heads (and elbows, and knees) together in the partner-swapping game Athlete to Athlete.

Stars

1st and 2nd grades

Art: Draw artistic inspiration from ancient Olympians and modern medalists. Craft a chariot fit for a Greek god or goddess embellished with prints from an etched-foam stamp. Learn about low relief sculpture as you design, mold and paint a pair of silver and gold medals.

Science: Let your knowledge of physics fly as you harness the power of tension to construct a strong, flexible archery bow. Learn about trajectory and stored energy, then create a mini basketball- shooting catapult fine-tuned for accuracy and consistency.

Outdoors: Race to the finish in a Galileo-style track and field event, tossing balls from tarp to tarp without letting them touch the ground. Pair up in teams of chariots and riders to navigate an ancient Greece-inspired obstacle course.

Supernovas

3rd to 5th grades

Art: Get wise to Greek mythology. Experiment with linocutting techniques and the effects of positive and negative space as you carve an Athena-inspired owl block print. Test a variety of colors and layouts, then print your design on fabric to create a one-of-a-kind T-shirt.

Science: Master the mechanics of martial arts. Use craft sticks to construct a judo robot with a customized base designed to keep it stable in a match. Build hydraulic systems that power your robot as it turns side to side, moves its mechanized appendages and grapples with other bots.

Outdoors: Claim victory in team sports with a Galileo twist, like working together to retrieve your stolen mascot in Capture the Chicken. Step up to the plate in a wacky version of baseball that lets you throw a rubber chicken instead of a batting a ball.