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.
UMBC Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology – Baltimore, Maryland
Saturday, June 24, 2017
NASA’s Beginning Engineering Science & Technology (BEST) educators will bring the principles of engineering to life during this day filled with hands-on workshops. Participants will learn to think like engineers by taking a project through the design, building and testing phases, and learning how to land and safely operate a spacecraft on another planet. CTYers and their families will also get to make their own Martian Rover, “land” it on “Mars,” and take it home. This program begins at 10 a.m. and ends around 3:30 p.m. Lunch is included.
Mount St. Helens Institute – Toutle, Washington
Saturday, July 22 - Sunday, July 23, 2017
The name “volcano” comes from the name Vulcan, a god of fire in Roman mythology. During this overnight adventure, participants will experience the Mount St. Helens volcano at night and learn about the ever-changing landscape and fascinating geological discoveries. CTYers and their families will engage in hands-on scientific activities and enjoy evening activities such as a night hike and/or interactive talks with educators to deepen their understanding of the Pacific Northwest’s volcanic landscapes, natural processes, and cultural past. They will also visit the Johnson Ridge Observatory where monitoring of this active volcano is ongoing. This “campout” in the Coldwater Visitor Center offers spectacular views of the crater and lava dome. This overnight program begins around 2 p.m. Saturday and ends around 11 a.m. Sunday. Dinner, a light breakfast and sack lunch are included. Participants should bring sleeping bags, mats, and pillows as they will be sleeping in bunk beds.
Reginald F. Lewis Museum – Baltimore, Maryland
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Photographs, artifacts, videos, and music tell the stories of such famous African Americans as Frederick Douglass, Billie Holiday, and Thurgood Marshall in this museum of African American history and culture. After touring museum galleries, families participate in a hands-on art workshop. A live re-enactment of Harriet Tubman’s journey through the Underground Railroad follows lunch in the museum cafe. Then CTY families explore a new exhibition by influential painter Jacob Lawrence. This program begins around 9:30 a.m. and ends around 3 p.m. Lunch and museum admission are included. Each family will receive tickets to participate in an optional group tour of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House next to the museum.
San Diego Museum of Man – San Diego, CA
Saturday, September 23, 2017
The culture of ancient Egypt holds universal appeal. Step into the shoes of an ancient Egyptian and explore social structures while on a guided tour; connect hands-on artifacts with what you see in displays; and end with an investigation of the mummification process. Become part of an ancient Egyptian “social pyramid” and build a Nile River boat out of recycled materials. Next, participate in an Ancient Mayan Mystery Tour and become a “special agent” on an anthropological quest for the truth. Engage in puzzles that allow you to explore evidence that proves the incredible accomplishments of the Maya in the fields of art, science, and mathematics. Explore history through secret messages, hidden maps, and touchable artifacts that connect the past to the present and beyond. This program begins around 9:30 a.m. and ends around 3:15 p.m. Museum admission and lunch are included.
The Maryland Zoo – Baltimore, Maryland
Saturday, September 30, 2017
What makes a zoo a happy and healthy place for its animals? It starts with a well-designed, carefully maintained facility that meets the physical and psychological needs of the animals and helps visitors appreciate their natural behaviors. Participants in this program get to see and learn about the many magnificent animals that live in the Maryland Zoo; they can also use their creativity and scientific skills to design an animal exhibit. This program begins around 10 a.m. and ends around 2:30 p.m. Lunch and zoo admission are included.
Irvine Nature Center – Owings Mills, Maryland
Saturday, October 7 - Sunday, October 8, 2017
Irvine Nature Center is a leader in environmental education and home to seven species of owls. Join CTY for an ecological camping adventure featuring these mystical birds of prey. Participants become scientists by exploring owl pellets and food webs, and learning about bird migrations. Then it’s time to head out on a naturalist-led night hike and encounter live raptors. Finally, of course, no campout is complete without a campfire and s’mores. This overnight program begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday and ends around 10 a.m. on Sunday. Dinner and a light breakfast is included. Participants should bring sleeping bags, mats, and pillows as they will be sleeping in tents provided by the Irvine Nature Center.
New York Botanical Garden – Bronx, New York
Saturday, October 7, 2017
The New York Botanical Garden’s dramatic vistas become living canvases for works created specifically for them by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly. CTY families explore these colorful sculptures in nature and discover how the glass art installations alter, complement, and enhance the landscape. To complete the day, participants create their own nature-inspired works of art. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 2:30 p.m. Garden admission and a $15 lunch voucher to Pine Tree Café are included.
National Building Museum – Washington, D.C.
Sunday, November 5, 2017
Become an architect and a city planner during a day full of activities and adventures at the National Building Museum. Examine the professions that build the world around us by participating in hands-on challenges. Ask a real architect questions about what the job entails, and then join a group of fellow CTYers in learning to think, draw, and build like an architect. Transform yourself into a problem-solving city planner as you work with your group to design and construct a model city out of recycled building materials. While solving problems that face modern cities, explore how to balance the needs and interest of different citizens in the city. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 3:30 p.m. Lunch is included.
San Diego Air & Space Museum – San Diego, California
Sunday, November 5, 2017
In this interactive journey, CTYers and their families discover the solar system with the help of virtual astronauts and land on multiple worlds, including the moon, Mars, Jupiter, and asteroids. Participants start off by taking a special guided tour of the museum’s Restoration Area, the hidden world of propellers and engines, tools and drafting tables used to facilitate flight. They learn about the four forces of flight by building and flying foam and balsa gliders with adjustable tail and wing positions. Then families explore the new exhibit Be the Astronaut! where they launch a rocket, pilot a spaceship, and drive a rover in space. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 3:30 p.m. Lunch and museum admission are included.
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology –
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Participants spend the day at the Penn Museum exploring the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome. CTYers and their families dive into the daily life of elite Romans by examining artifacts on display in the galleries, including mosaics, portraitures, architecture, and childhood toys. Then they work as a team to piece together one giant mosaic comprised of over 4,000 tesserae. In the process, discover the artistry of Roman mosaics and how archaeologists excavate and study these ancient works of art. Afterward, the group takes a close look at coins in the Greece gallery, learns about who used them, and discovers the meaning behind the people, symbols, and mythical animals featured on them. Participants also get the chance to design their own coins. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 2:30 p.m. Lunch and museum admission are included.
Museum of Flight – Seattle, Washington
Saturday, December 9, 2017
Explore aviation science, history, and technology in the museum’s Great Gallery under the guidance of a museum docent. CTY families learn about past and current achievements of robots in space, on Earth, and in the home, and then build their own extraterrestrial rover. Experience a virtual mission to Mars in the Challenger Learning Center. In this mission, participants travel to Mars to replace the crew of astronauts that has been manning the base for the past two years. In addition to landing on the planet, each team collects and analyzes geologic samples and launches exploratory probes to the two moons of Mars. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 3 p.m. Lunch and museum admission are included.