Your Week at Camp

Camp Galileo

Stars (1st - 2nd grades)

Galileo  Amusement Park

The Art & Engineering of Circuses and Carnival Rides

Galileo Amusement Park

Step right up to an inventive, camper-designed amusement park. When Penny discovers an old carnival that has mysteriously shut down, she vows to rebuild it—and needs all the know-how Camp G can offer. This week, Stars will create colorful circus wagons and acrobats, build spectacular rides and roller coasters and buckle up for a thrilling adventure at the most innovative place on earth.

Project Spotlight

Circus Wagons

This week, Stars will take their artistic circus act on the road. They’ll practice paper cutting and folding techniques, then be determined to create symmetrical designs for their circus wagons. Campers will add bright embellishments, decorative trim and radially symmetrical wheels to their wagons, using real life examples for inspiration.

BE DETERMINED: I know that innovation and mastery require effort

Weekly Breakdown


In Art, campers will begin working on their circus wagons, learning a paper cutting and folding technique to create  symmetrical designs that are attached to their wagons. They’ll need to be determined to create multiple possible designs, choose their favorite, and then take time to cut it out with care.

In Science, campers will build their own drop tower ride with a carriage that holds their rider, Eggo. Their goal will be to create a system of straps that keep Eggo safe, testing by shaking the carriage, then dropping it from the top of the tower.


In Art, campers will will practice being determined as they create a circus wagon wheel with radial symmetry, then duplicate it to create three more wheels.

In Science, campers will bring their drop tower to life by attaching a rubber band between the drop tower carriage and the tower, creating a slingshot mechanism. Once the tower is operational, campers will create cushions on the tower base for added safety, being reflective to figure out how to improve their design as they test it out.

In Outdoors, campers will need to keep their balance in a Twister-esque challenge, collaborating and sharing ideas with their fellow Stars to achieve acrobatic arrangements in Group Hoop Sculpture.

Ask your camper: How did you stay determined when making four identical wheels for your circus wagon?


In Art, campers will use real circus wagons as inspiration for the symmetrical decorations they’ll add to their own wagons.

In Science, campers will work in teams to create the strongest bumper car design possible out of legos, learning about the importance of overlapping bricks to create strong structures. They’ll be able to test and redesign, aiming to lose as few pieces as possible when their car is launched into a wall.

Ask your camper: What symmetrical decorations did you add to your circus wagon? What do you like about them?


In Art, campers will design a circus acrobat, drawing a person using their fingers as size guides. They’ll need to be visionary as they brainstorm costume ideas, using pictures of animals and environments to help them generate a unique, clear idea.

In Science, campers will make a roller coaster car that will need to safely carry their egg person down test tracks. They’ll use wooden wheels, cardboard, foam and paper to make their roller coaster cars, then test on ever steeper and more bumpy tracks.

In Outdoors, campers will play Carnival Baseball, batting with rubber chickens and freely sharing their creative ideas for visionary, silly new rules to make the game even more fun.

Ask your camper: How did you draw your acrobat? What shape did you use for its body? What kind of idea did you have for your acrobat’s costume? How will you make that vision a reality?


In Art, campers will create symmetrical poles for their acrobat by wrapping materials like tissue paper around a tube to create decorative spirals. They’ll need to be reflective and make sure their spiral wraps around just the way they want, and identify parts of the pole that could be more interesting. Once decorated, campers will attach a dowel so their acrobat can defy gravity, spinning around the pole.

In Science, campers will build a track for the roller coaster cars they made yesterday. Using cardboard and tinker toys, campers will build an 8 foot track from the desktop to the floor, and up to a station where their cars will come to rest.

Innovation At Home

  • Pick up a copy of “Mr. Ferris and His Wheel” by Kathryn Gibbs Davis, the picture book biography of the innovator and engineer behind the Ferris wheel.
  • Grab some foam pipe insulation, a roll of masking tape, and some marbles, then buckle up for some DIY-roller coaster building.
  • Hone your park designer skills and physics knowledge on, an online community of kids who courageously try new things.

Keep an eye out for physics concepts like centrifugal force, centripetal force, and potential and kinetic energy in your favorite carnival rides.

  • SF BAY AREA: Take a trip to the San Mateo County Fair June 10 – June 18, the Alameda County Fair June 16 – July 9, or the Santa Clara County Fair August 3 – August 8.
  • SOCAL: Take a trip to the Orange County Fair July 14 – August 13, the Los Angeles County Fair September 1 – September 25, or your family’s favorite theme park.
  • CHICAGOLAND: Take a trip to the DuPage or Lake County Fairs July 26 – July 30, Northwest Fourthfest June 30 – July 4, or Skokie’s Backlot Bash August 25 –  August 27.

Galileo Innovation  Approach

The Galileo Innovation Approach® (GIA) is our guiding principle. The GIA is at the core of every activity your kids do at camp, from Pre-K all the way to 8th grade. Having a Galileo Innovator’s Mindset, Process and Knowledge makes a lasting impact on the way children think, explore and create.

1. The Innovator's Mindset: How Galileo innovators approach the world

I am Visionary

I am Courageous

I am Collaborative

I am Determined

I am Reflective

2. The Innovator’s Knowledge: What Galileo innovators need to understand

Concepts and Facts

Historical Context

Skills and Techniques

Audience and Environment

3. The Innovator’s Process: How Galileo innovators innovate

Read more about the GIA