Our imaginative and interactive Creative Connections programs are designed to meet the needs of our youngest CTY participants. The programs include one-day and overnight learning experiences for students and parents at prestigious museums, aquariums, and science and nature centers. Program structure varies at each site, but every event includes hands-on activities designed to provide an environment in which families can learn and discover new interests together.
A note about our overnight programs: Unless otherwise indicated, families spend the night in the host institution. Participants should bring sleeping bags, foam pads, and pillows, as they will be sleeping on the floor.
National Building Museum – Washington, D.C.
Sunday, March 11, 2018
Engineers and architects are constantly working to design buildings and structures that stand up to invisible forces. In this hands-on program, CTYers and their families participate in challenges and experiments to learn first-hand how building experts identify solutions to the world’s problems. Morning activities include designing the tallest tower and building the strongest bridge. In the afternoon, participants put their newfound knowledge to use designing the perfect building. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 3 p.m. Lunch is included.
Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum – St. Leonard, Maryland
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Participants in this program investigate the past by working alongside professional archaeologists; exploring native life at a recreated Indian village; excavating at an 18th-century plantation site on the Patuxent River; and working with conservators to analyze their findings at the state-of-the-art Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory. Through hands-on activities, CTYers and their families travel back in time and get to know the people and stories behind the artifacts. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 4 p.m. Lunch is included.
Lawrence Hall of Science – Berkeley, California
Saturday, April 21, 2018
CTYers and their families step into a biologist’s shoes and study the various structures found in their squid specimens. Then they delve into engineering exploration by building and testing LEGO Artbots, robots that make art. Participants observe and compare how their motorized contraptions perform and discuss their design process. Then they investigate dry ice and in a frosty, foggy, and bubbly workshop that ends with a bang as the instructor conducts tests on a variety of gases. This program will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end around 3:30 p.m. Lunch and admission to the museum are included.
Liberty Science Center – Jersey City, New Jersey
Saturday, April 28, 2018
CTYers and their families participate in hands-on, science-based workshops during this program designed to build their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Participants explore the real-world applications of engineering design while teaming up to research, plan, build, and test a model bridge to meet the evolving demands of a simulated tri-state community. Then delve deeper into the engineering design process while using 3D printed materials to create a model car capable of traveling one meter and capable of keeping a hard boiled egg “passenger safe” in the event of a crash. Participants end the day by watching a film in the center’s new Planetarium Theater. This program begins around 9:30 a.m. and ends around 3:30 p.m. A $10 lunch voucher and museum admission are included.
MEarth – Carmel, California
Sunday, May 6, 2018
When people gather around a table to share food, magic happens—especially in the state-of-the-art kitchen of the Green Building at Hilton Bialek Habitat. Participants in this unique program spend the day gardening; investigating diverse bird, insect, and small mammal ecosystems; and exploring streams, rivers, and oceans. They gather ingredients from the garden for an organic seasonal salad, and learn to make their own pizza dough for a harvest-to-table pizza lunch. Then they top it off with a delicious, garden-fresh dessert. In the process, CTYers and their families learn the direct impact everyday items like clothes, food, cars, and homes have on the health of our planet. This program begins around 10 a.m. and ends around 3 p.m. Lunch is included.
Stamford Museum and Nature Center – Stamford, Connecticut
Sunday, May 20, 2018
Have you ever felt a sheep’s wool or been kissed by a llama? Participants of this program take a walking tour of the Heckscher Farm and get to know the many animals that live there. Then they visit the center’s animal lab for an introduction to ecological principles, using live animals and mounted specimens to illustrate the special adaptations that help animals to survive. CTYers and their families also explore the vital flora and fauna that Woodland Indians relied on for food, medicine, and tools; and in an interactive workshop, they investigate a vernal pool and learn how creatures adapt in a temporary aquatic ecosystem. This program will begin around 9:30 a.m. and end around 3:30 p.m. Lunch is included.
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Taney Historic Ship – Baltimore, Maryland
Saturday, May 5–Sunday, May 6, 2018
In this captivating program, CTY families spend the night aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Taney, which served the United States for 50 years, including in World War II and the Vietnam War. An experienced sailor guides participants’ exploration of concepts such as steam power, buoyancy, ballast tanks, plane spotting, damage control, and “manual of arms.” Participants visit areas of the ship rarely seen, such as the engine room, bridge, and gun mount. Families eat dinner, sleep, and eat breakfast aboard the ship. This overnight program begins around 4 p.m. on Saturday and ends around 9 a.m. on Sunday. Dinner, a snack, and light breakfast are included. Bring sleeping bags and pillows as you will be sleeping on bunks on the Taney.
Mount St. Helens Institute – Toutle, Washington
Saturday, July 21–Sunday, July 22, 2018
Participants in this overnight adventure experience a volcano at night while learning about the ever-changing landscape of Mount St. Helens and the fascinating geological discoveries underway there. CTYers and their families engage in hands-on scientific activities including an evening hike and interactive discussions with educators about the Pacific Northwest’s volcanic landscapes, natural processes, and cultural past. They will also visit the Johnson Ridge Observatory, where the active volcano is monitored. This campout in the Science and Learning Center offers spectacular views of the crater and lava dome. This overnight program begins around 2 p.m. Saturday and ends around noon on Sunday. It includes dinner, a continental breakfast, and lunch. Families should bring sleeping bags, mats, and pillows as they will be sleeping in bunk beds. Detailed information will be available upon registration.