Your Week at Camp

Camp Galileo

Supernovas (3rd - 5th grades)

Galileo Makers: Materials Challenge

Art & Engineering with a Single Supply

Project Spotlight

Hydraulic Animals

This week in science, Supernovas will engineer an animatronic animal from simple cardboard. They’ll hone their cutting and building skills to create a cardboard creature with working hinges. Campers will animate their animal with hydraulics and a mini motor for realistic movements they can show off at an end-of-week petting zoo.

BE VISIONARY: I believe it is my place to turn ideas into reality

Daily Breakdown


In Art, campers will be using duct tape in new and surprising ways to create a customized and fully functional Duck Tape® messenger bag. Today, they’ll kick off the project by making a maquette (small-scale model) for their bag out of index cards. They’ll be visionary by pushing past their initial ideas to try unique shape or theme ideas for their bags, then cut and label all the parts they’ll need to make their final design a reality.

In Science, campers will create an animal using cardboard and hydraulics. They’ll begin by deciding what their animal will be, and what motion they want their animal to make. Campers will start constructing the robot components involved in the first motion, such as a flapping bird wing or swinging elephant trunk.

Ask your camper: What design elements are you envisioning for your duct tape messenger bag? Are you thinking of a particular color scheme or unusual shape?


In Art, campers will learn basic duct tape techniques and immediately put this knowledge—and their determination—to the test by covering three foam sheets with duct tape, focusing on smooth tape and clean edges. These covered foam sheets will become the front, back, and flap of their messenger bag.

In Science, campers will start to bring their animal to life by adding a hydraulic system made with plastic syringes and tubing. To figure out the most effective position for the hydraulics, campers will need to be reflective as they test their animal’s motions.

Ask your camper: How will the hydraulic system work to move a part of your animal?


In Art, campers will practice being determined and level up their duct tape skills from yesterday. They’ll learn how to make duct tape sheets and turn them into pockets, using size guides to ensure the pockets can hold phones, tablets, pens, or water bottles.

In Science, campers will envision and create a second motion for their robot animal. They’ll need to create new components, hinge the components, and create a new hydraulic system, requiring plenty of collaboration as they’ll be encouraged to turn to each other for troubleshooting help and new ideas.

In Outdoors, campers will make a move to reclaim the most important supply in their makerspace, sneakily stealing back their group’s rubber chicken from the thief who took it in the game Chicken Thief.

Ask your camper: How many times did you need to redesign your new hydraulic motion for your animal? Did collaborating with others help to solve any challenges?


In Art, campers will see their duct tape pieces come together into a usable bag. They’ll connect their bag to a functional strap, then practice being reflective by stress-testing their bag for strength and comfort.

In Science, campers will add another new motion to their hydraulic animals using motors. They’ll learn how asymmetric weight on a motor’s shift can make the robot vibrate or create sound. There are numerous ways to utilize their motor, so they’ll need to be visionary to come up with inventive ideas that will make their robot as lifelike as possible.

Ask your camper: Is your bag coming together the way you envisioned earlier in the week? What design tweaks might you make tomorrow to make it even more unique, comfortable or functional?


In Art, campers will put the finishing touches on their messenger bags. They’ll take the time to be reflective and consider ways to push their design a step further, adding embellishments like tassels and charms.

In Science, campers will identify the key features of their animal and decorate accordingly. At the end of the day, they’ll open up their sold out petting zoo for Nebula (pre-K - K) campers, who have been eagerly anticipating meeting these cardboard robot creations.

In Outdoors, campers will work together to round up a malfunctioning herd of hydraulic animals before they wander away in the game Animal Herders.

Ask your camper: What were the younger campers the most excited about when they got to see your group’s hydraulic animals? What were you most proud to show them?

Camp Continued

Activities and outings to build on this week's adventures

  • Hone your Maker skills—including salvaging, mechanical engineering and animation—on, an online community of kids who courageously try new things.

  • Explore new materials with the books at Maker Shed. Families can work together on projects in Fabric and Fiber Inventions, Paper Inventions or Woodworking for Young Makers.

  • Pick up a copy of Duct Tape Engineer—written by Galileo’s own curriculum developer Lance Akiyama—and explore 14 projects, from backpacks to kayaks, utilizing everyone’s favorite adhesive.​

  • SF Bay Area: Visit the East Bay Mini Maker Faire on October 21, or look for another faire near you.​

  • SoCal: Visit Maker Faire San Diego in October or the DTLA Mini Maker Faire in December, or look for another faire near you.

  • Chicagoland: Visit the Chicago Southland Mini Maker Faire on August 19, or look for another faire near you.

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