Your Week at Camp

Camp Galileo

Supernovas (3rd - 5th 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, Supernovas will create high-flying wire circus acts, build spectacular spinning rides and buckle up for a thrilling adventure at the most innovative place on earth.

Project  Spotlight

Project Name

This week, Supernovas will design their own dizzying, hair-raising ride. They’ll use what they learn about centripetal force and torque to build a one-of-a-kind spinning attraction that passes multiple safety inspections. At the end of the week, campers will explore electrical engineering as they wire parallel circuits and LEDs to illuminate their rotating rides. Campers will need to be determined, working diligently to make sure they construct and attach their circuits with care.

BE DETERMINED: I know that innovation and mastery require effort

Weekly Breakdown


In Art, campers will begin creating a wire figure circus performer, inspired by the work of Alexander Calder. They’ll be challenged to be courageous and build their figure by following a diagram.

In Science, campers will decide what type of spinning ride they want to make—a ferris wheel, a tilt-o-whirl, or a carousel—and construct a spinning platform for the base. Campers will attach a pull string, testing, evaluating, and redesigning to make sure they have a fast spinning ride with a strong foundation.


In Art, campers will will practice being visionary by brainstorming circus acts, costumes and props, and then mix-and-matching those ideas together to design an innovative circus act.

In Science, campers will explore the science of optical illusions, and add one to their spinning ride. To help them generate the best ideas, campers will participate in a group brainstorm, then take at least one insight from the class and incorporate it into their own optical illusion.


In Art, campers will finish making everything they need for their circus acts, and figure out how to make one part of it move. Whether they are pushing their project to the next level or working hard to get everything done, campers will benefit from being determined today.

In Science, campers will build seats for their spinning rides, first building a prototype that has to pass multiple safety inspections. Once it’s declared safe enough, they’ll replicate their seat design to include at least three total on their rides.

In Outdoors, campers will work as a team to transport building materials to the under-construction Galileo Amusement Park as quickly as possible, using only their wits and a tarp.

Ask your camper: Describe your seat design for your spinning ride. Did you have to redesign it to pass the safety inspection?


In Art, campers will combine their circus act with others, and will need to be collaborative as they break into film crews to capture video of each other’s circus acts in motion.

In Science, campers will illuminate their rides with circuits and light. They’ll learn how to power multiple LED lights with a simple parallel circuit, and will need to be determined to make sure they construct and attach their circuits with care.

In Outdoors, campers will collaborate to take back the lucky rubber chicken from the despicable Chicken Thief. They’ll need to be visionary as they consider creative ways to hide the chicken in plain sight.


In Art, campers will have time to build out their circus ring, finish filming, and edit their footage using the app Splice. They’ll need to be reflective and keep their audience in mind, and work with their film crew to create a promo video of their circus act as their finished product.

In Science, campers will envision a creative, exciting theme for their spinning ride. They’ll have time to add decorative details to their seats, make improvements to the lighting, and add any other theme-related features they envision.

Ask your camper: Tell me about your spinning ride’s theme. What features did you add to help communicate that theme?

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