2018 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 captivating 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.


The Incredible Human Body

The Art and Science of Being Human

Investigate the inner workings of the amazing human body. Uncover the beauty of brains and bones or create art without using certain body parts or senses. Build apparatus that protect our bodies from harm or simulate human lungs, noses and hands. Dive into an innovative, eye-opening, spine-tingling adventure to discover the secrets of what makes us human.

 

Nebulas

Pre K to K

Art: Take your artistic explorations beyond skin deep. Explore the shapes that make up our skeletons, then use ordinary objects to create bold, bone-inspired prints. Practice sculpting techniques like rolling and coiling to create a miniature model of the human brain.

Science: Engineer innovative ways to keep bodies safe and protected, like a stretcher made out of paint stirrers and pipe cleaners designed to transport an injured patient. Investigate methods for spreading and diminishing impact as you construct a cushioned safety helmet. 

Outdoors: Get your body moving in the game People to People as you go toe to toe (and shoulder to elbow, and head to knee) with your partner. Practice your teamwork skills in Brain Train, working together to pass foam-ball messages from brain to body.

Stars

1st and 2nd grades

Art: Put your best face forward. Draw a range of eyes and mouths for a moveable, mix-and-match toy that showcases a unique combination of emotions. Fashion an adaptive headpiece that lets you create expressive abstract paintings without using your hands.

Science: Breathe easy as you learn how human nostrils filter contaminants, then build your own set of nose hairs designed to catch as many impurities as possible. Engineer and test a simulated lung strong enough to lift bigger and bigger pieces of furniture as it fills.  

Outdoors: Get tuned up from head to toe. Create silly sounds and songs with your body in the game Human Xylophone. Put your brain to work as you test your memory and collaboration skills to find your way out of a maze.

Supernovas

3rd to 5th grades

Art: Experience art in unexpected ways as you craft a tactile, three-dimensional composition in the style of sculptor Louise Nevelson. Then team up to recreate your piece using only your sense of touch. Learn the basics of braille for a customized detail: an embossed title plaque to attach to your creation. 

Science: Investigate the mechanics of the human hand, then build your own prosthetic version. Design working appendages, ligaments and tendons, plus a system of straps to attach it. Test and redesign your new limb to fit comfortably, grip strongly and perform a range of everyday tasks. 

Outdoors: Take to the outdoors for full-body laughs as you make up moves to get your opponent giggling in a Galileo-style dance battle. Link together like liver cells, working with your teammates to clean up all the blood toxins you can carry in the game Liver Link Up.


Space Explorers

Cosmic Art and Astronaut Science

Blast off on a high-flying mission to the final frontier. Explore the creative potential of the cosmos as you make solar system mobiles, moonscapes and extraterrestrial-inspired art. Engineer mighty rockets, motorized Mars rovers or moon rock retrieval devices. Take one innovative leap for camper kind on an extraordinary voyage to infinity and beyond.

Nebulas

Pre K - K

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

Science: Engineer gear for an adventure into space. Build pressure-propelled straw spaceships to blast you off, testing and redesigning their fins for the farthest possible flight. Construct a handy helmet that lets you eat and scratch your nose without unfastening your spacesuit.

Outdoors: Launch into the outdoors for out-of-this-world fun. Work with your team to build a bridge across a field of lava as you make your way back to the space station. Run, jump, duck and crawl your way through a journey to a distant planet. 

Stars

1st and 2nd grades

Art: Look to the cosmos for creative inspiration. Practice painting, cutting and construction techniques as you create dazzling stars and planets for a spinning solar system mobile. Explore positive and negative space as you sketch and craft an otherworldly UFO shadow puppet.

Science: Prepare for takeoff as you engineer aerodynamic water rockets with strong, steady trajectories and safety-tested nose cones. Build an agile, air-powered mechanical arm designed to grab and store rock samples from the moon's stony surface.

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 accidentally touching them.

Supernovas

3rd to 5th grades

Art: Explore the outer limits of your imagination as you sew up a wacky, one-of-a-kind plush alien. Brainstorm ideas, sketch a design and cut body shapes and appendages out of felt or foam. Learn the basics of threading and sewing, 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 a durable frame, drive system circuitry and attachments for conquering Red Planet-specific challenges.

Outdoors: Take your space odyssey to the great outdoors, trying to tag the other team's Jedis in the camp favorite Star Wars. Collaborate with your team to keep your cool—and keep everyone balanced on a single piece of ice—after crash-landing on a frozen planet.


Galileo Makers: Materials Challenge

Art and Engineering with a Single Supply

Unlock the mighty potential of everyday materials in our most inventive maker challenge yet. Start with a single supply in art and another in science. Your mission: transform that ordinary material into a range of extraordinary inventions. Turn your artistic eye to duct tape, learning dozens of ways to craft it into incredible designs. Engineer everything from moving figures to sturdy forts with a just simple straw. Ignite your imagination and get ready to innovate as you remake familiar things in fantastic new ways.

Nebulas

Pre K to K

Art: Unwrap a range of festive functions for tissue paper. Decoupage layers of paper in warm and cool tones to create a radiant luminary that sets a specific mood. Imagine new ways to cut, fold, twist and shape tissue paper as you fashion a fanciful piñata.

Science: Build outside-the-box projects entirely out of boxes. Reinforce and reshape a cardboard box into a rideable scooter, testing it for stability and outfitting it with custom features. Learn about strong shapes and building techniques as you collaboratively construct a box village.

Outdoors: Take your maker spirit to the great outdoors as you create increasingly complex group sculptures using only your bodies and a hula hoop. Work with your team to keep supplies flowing to camp as you run materials back and forth in the game Swap Meet Relay. 

Stars

1st and 2nd grades

Art: Let your imagination unfurl with toilet paper-based art. Practice paper dyeing and toilet paper mache as you bring a magical, multicolor monster to life. Fold, fringe and feather your dyed paper to create a richly textured bird patterned with toilet paper-tube rolling stamps.

Science: Explore the vast versatility of a simple straw. Cut up and reconstruct a series of straws to create an articulated action figure that can hug, wave or run. Engineer a straw fort with sturdy studs and trusses, complete with moving components like hinged doors and swings.

Outdoors: Keep your outdoor makerspace stocked, spiffy and chock-full of fun. Collaborate to swipe a set of keys from the sleeping guard who locked up your tools. Compete for the cleanest workspace by throwing your team's supplies onto the other team's tidy floor in the game Clean Your Room. 

Supernovas

3rd to 5th grades

Art: Create an innovative messenger bag from an unusual material in a project designed with the makers of Duck Tape®. Create and assemble each piece of your bag, learning duct tape construction techniques as you add pockets, straps and embellishments like tassels and charms.

Science: Engineer an animatronic animal from simple cardboard. Hone your cutting and building skills to create a cardboard creature with working hinges. Animate your animal with hydraulics and a mini motor for realistic movements you can show off at an end-of-week petting zoo.

Outdoors: Make a move to reclaim the most important supply in your makerspace, sneakily stealing back your rubber chicken from the thief who took it. Work together to round up a malfunctioning herd of hydraulic animals before they wander away in the game Animal Herders.


Road Trip Adventure

Art and Engineering Along Route 66

Put the pedal to the metal on a road trip adventure along Route 66. Make eclectic art inspired by sights on your route, including Chicago's skyline, Albuquerque's neon signs or the roller coaster at Santa Monica Pier. Build cars, trucks, bridges and guardrails as you test and travel the terrain. You're in the driver's seat on this classic trip west, where all roads lead to innovation. 

Nebulas

Pre K to K

Art: Get a sweet start to your road trip at Doc's Soda Fountain in Illinois, practicing color mixing as you create an ice cream playset. Travel to Arizona, where you'll use oil pastels, watercolors and your own stamps to depict the layered landforms and cacti of the Painted Desert.

Science: Learn about the historic construction of Route 66, then engineer a dump truck that can safely carry boulders to clear the route for travel. Use strong, overlapping connections to build reinforced guardrails that keep your truck from rolling off the road.

Outdoor: Get moving on a road trip scavenger hunt, completing challenges and collecting clues at stops along the way. Work with your team to balance on bridge beams and navigate around traffic cones as you zigzag through a car and driver obstacle course.

Stars

1st and 2nd grades

Art: Dream up and create your own roadside diner, featuring a three-dimensional sign and oversized food sculpture for the roof. Stop along Route 66 to view textiles created by Cherokee artist Lloyd Kiva New, then paint and print a travel-ready tote inspired by his designs.

Science: Hightail down the highway in a slingshot car. Engineer a rubber band-powered ride designed to withstand a rollover test and traverse a variety of terrains. Build a protective, reflective spelunking helmet to help you seek out minerals in Missouri's Meramec Cavern. 

Outdoors: Get revved up for a ride outdoors with an unconventional fuel stop, where you'll work with your team to keep everyone inside a shrinking gas station. Take Red Light, Green Light to the next level with a road trip twist—trying not to get tagged by the traffic cop.

Supernovas

3rd to 5th grades

Art: Make Albuquerque's Central Avenue the highlight of your trip with art inspired by its neon signs. Use your cardboard cutting and construction skills to create your sign base, then practice painting and layering techniques as you add details that glow in the dark.

Science: Shift into high gear as you build and test a durable, lightweight, air-launched rocket car that can cross the finish line fastest at Route 66 Raceway. Work with your team to construct a carefully trussed and cantilevered bridge to get your car safely across the Mississippi.

Outdoors: Put your Supernova team on the map. Collaborate to create a human Route 66, putting scenic sites and cities in geographical order from Chicago to Santa Monica. Take your running and tagging skills out for a spin in a road trip-inspired game called Boiler Burst.