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Family Programs for Grades 2-6

Our imaginative and interactive 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.

One Day Programs

Magic at the Met

Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York, New York

Grades 5-7

Monday, February 18, 2019
Families see the Metropolitan Museum of Art through a magical lens with this tour inspired by the Harry Potter series. Participants see part of an actual castle and signage that could have come right from Diagon Alley! Educational guides take students and their families through games and other activities to connect them with these popular fantasy books. Brush up on your wizarding knowledge, and feel free to wear wizarding gear for this program co-hosted by Fable & Lark, an innovative, educational organization that conducts storied adventures. This program begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. A $25 “express coupon” for lunch in the museum’s cafeteria and admission to the museum are included.   

Cost: $155 per person. Register now

Solving Tough Issues in International Relations

Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, Maryland

Grades 5-7

Saturday, February 23, 2019
Participants in this action-packed program work together to save a country torn between competing factions and on the brink of collapse. Acting as representatives of groups within the fictional dissolving country of Pakavia, families learn to practice diplomacy and critical reasoning to redraw the country’s borders and negotiate a peaceful solution. Further reinforcing key concepts in world politics, CTY staff lead interactive workshops on critical reading, argument and negotiation, and international relations theory and practice. A breakout session for parents includes strategies for continuing to engage students in thinking about the world. Participants leave the program with greater confidence and applicable skills for tackling tough issues in global politics. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 4 p.m. Lunch is included.

Cost: $135 per person. Register now

Adventures in Architecture

Tudor Place – Washington, D.C.

Grades 2-4

Saturday, March 9, 2019
Families explore the ways early Americans showed patriotism through their building designs during this program at Tudor Place, a National Historic Landmark designed by prominent architect William Thornton. Participants engage in hands-on architecture games, tour the historic mansion on a history hunt, and see how Neoclassical ideas influenced later buildings. Participants explore Greek and Roman forms of government, and craft their own gold leaf embellishment to take home. This program begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Lunch is included.

Cost: $130 per person. Register now

Chinese Language Immersion

Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, Maryland

Grades 2-4

Saturday, March 16, 2019
Ni hao! Our Chinese language and culture program gives CTYers and their families the opportunity to develop and strengthen their beginner-level listening, speaking, and thinking skills in Mandarin. CTY staff work with participants through breakout sessions and fun and meaningful activities to help them build conversation skills and gain a deeper understanding of Chinese culture. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 4 p.m. Lunch is included.

Cost: $140 per person. Register now

Water Engineering

Lawrence Hall of Science – Berkeley, California

Grades 2-4

Saturday, March 16, 2019
Become a scientist for the day at The Hall. Families dive into the field of water engineering as they design and build a sustainable city landscape, test their city’s ability to retain storm water, prevent flooding, and capture pollutants while considering ecological impacts. Then participants step into the shoes of a biologist and take an in-depth exploration of the various structures found in a squid specimen. Families create their own investigations in this bubbly, dry ice workshop, which ends with a bang as the instructor conducts tests on a variety of gases. Participants look at the world through the lens of science to expand their understanding of the natural and physical world. This program begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends around 4 p.m. Lunch and admission to the museum are included.

Cost: $135 per person. Register now

Solving Tough Issues in International Relations

Hong Kong University – Hong Kong, China

Ages 10-13

Saturday, March 16, 2019
Participants in this action-packed program work together to save a country torn between competing factions and on the brink of collapse. Acting as representatives of groups within the fictional dissolving country of Pakavia, CTYers and their families learn to practice diplomacy and critical reasoning to redraw the country’s borders and negotiate a peaceful solution. Further reinforcing key concepts in world politics, CTY staff lead interactive workshops on critical reading, argument and negotiation, and international relations theory and practice. A breakout session for parents includes strategies for continuing to engage students in thinking about the world. Participants leave the program with greater confidence and applicable skills for tackling tough issues in global politics. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 4 p.m. Lunch is included.

Cost: $135 US DOLLARS per person. Register now

The Art and Science of Engineering

Fleet Science Center – San Diego, California

Grades 2-4

Saturday, March 23, 2019
Join CTY and the Fleet Science Center for a day of collaborative projects that embrace the philosophy of STEAM—the combination of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. Participants put their problem-solving skills to the test as they work together to design, build, and test a model car that can withstand a crash test, and a structure that can endure a simulated earthquake. Families also watch the inspiring film Dream Big, which celebrates the compassion and creativity that drive engineers to create better lives and a more sustainable future for us all. This program begins around 9:30 a.m. and ends around 3 p.m. Lunch and admission to the museum are included.

Cost: $130 per person. Register now

Coding and Design Workshop

Liberty Science Center – Jersey City, New Jersey

Grades 5-7

Saturday, April 6, 2019
CTYers experience project-based learning and develop critical-thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills through this hands-on, science-based program at Liberty Science Center. In the Innovation Lab, students use Sonic Pi, a live music-coding environment, to compose their own songs. They learn basic coding structure, errors, syntax, and music concepts as they write their own simple program. In the MakerLab, participants try to find out if humans can overcome the harsh environment in order to live on Mars one day. They design a habitat for life on Mars based on a topographic map which resembles a real Martian location. Participants 3D-print a model of their Martian home to keep, and then top off this exciting day with a film in the Planetarium Theater. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 3 p.m. A $10 lunch voucher and admission to the museum are included.                    

Cost: $130 per person. Register now

The Big Apple: A History

Museum of the City of New York – New York, New York

Grades 2-4

Sunday, April 14, 2019
Families discover the history of New York City during this interactive program at the Museum of the City of New York. Participants spend time in the groundbreaking exhibition New York at its Core to discover and interpret original artifacts that tell stories about the people who shaped the city over the centuries. Then they learn about the origins and evolution of Manhattan’s street grid system. As a culminating project, families construct a model neighborhood that conforms to this more-than-200-year-old plan using contemporary zoning and land-use regulations. Participants even take home a piece of the city as a souvenir. The program begins around 9:30 a.m. and ends around 1:30 p.m. Lunch and admission to the museum are included.               

Cost: $135 per person. Register now

The Hunt for Mythical Creatures

Fable & Lark at the American Museum of Natural History – New York, New York

Grades 5-7

Monday, April 22, 2019
Join CTY and Fable & Lark, an innovative educational organization, for this unique experience that takes families on an interactive scavenger hunt inside the American Museum of Natural History. Participants travel though the museum’s galleries and use clues, crafts, questions, and activities to examine some of the animals that inspired the Fantastic Beasts series and other great mythical creatures of our time. The program begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Lunch and admission to the museum are included.

Cost: $155 per person. Register now

The Wonderful World of Science

Liberty Science Center – Jersey City, New Jersey

Grades 2-4

Saturday, April 27, 2019
CTYers will develop their critical-thinking, collaboration, innovation, and problem-solving skills as they participate in hands-on, project-based workshops with CTY at Liberty Science Center. In the first workshop, “Brainstorming Around the World,” students become meteorologists and collect climatological data to explore the relationships between temperature, precipitation, and climate, and create graphical representations of their data to classify the climate zone of their region. In the second workshop, “Adaptation Examination,” families explore animal adaptations up-close while interacting with live animals, and learn how they have developed survival adaptations to find food, protect themselves, or find a mate.  Families will top off the day with a film in the Planetarium Theater. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 3 p.m. A $10 lunch voucher and admission to the museum are included.                  

Cost: $130 per person. Register now

Ready, Set, Build!

National Building Museum – Washington, D.C.

Grades 5-7

Sunday, May 5, 2019
Design is a combination of science, math, art, language, and history that engineers, architects, and city planners use to identify solutions to society’s problems. Good design is about creating solutions to these problems; it can be fun, serious, and challenging all at once. In this hands-on program, participants learn about the design of disaster shelters, and then create their own. CTYers create a shelter to protect a team of scientists from an imaginary zombie attack, construct a 6½-by-13-foot geodesic dome, and work as a team to design a shelter fit for an earthquake’s aftermath. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 3:30 p.m. Lunch is included.

Cost: $130 per person. Register now

Environmental Health

NYU School of Medicine Department of Environmental Medicine and Sterling Forest State Park – Tuxedo, New York

Grades 5-7

Sunday, June 9, 2019
CTYers and their families don a lab coat and become a scientist for a day, conducting a DNA experiment under the guidance of a leading genetic toxicologist; extracting DNA from strawberries with common kitchen items; determining how clean our air is and how much air our lungs can hold; learning how to drill for oil; and more toxicology and environmental health activities. Participants take a pond walk and an iron mine tour with an experienced park ranger who helps identify the many species of aquatic life and abundant variety of plants, animals, and birds in the forest. This program begins around 10 a.m. and ends around 5 p.m. Lunch is included.

Cost: $150 per person. Register now

Space Engineering

Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, Maryland 

Grades 2-4

Date TBD
Participants learn the principles of engineering and how to think like engineers during a day filled with hands-on workshops at Johns Hopkins University. Families take a project through its entire lifespan—from designing to building and testing, and even create their own rover and land it on “Mars.” This program begins at 10 a.m. and ends around 4 p.m. Lunch is included.

Cost: $140 per person. Notify me when a date is available

Space Engineering

Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, Maryland

Grades 5-7

Date TBD
Participants learn the principles of engineering and how to think like engineers during a day filled with hands-on workshops at Johns Hopkins University. Families take a project through its entire lifespan—from designing to building and testing, and even create their own rover and land it on “Mars.” This program begins at 10 a.m. and ends around 4 p.m. Lunch is included.

Cost: $140 per person. Notify me when a date is available

Inside the U.S. Senate

Edward M. Kennedy Institute – Boston, Massachusetts

Grades 5-7

Date TBD
This program takes CTY families inside reproductions of Senator Kennedy’s office and the state Senate Chamber to experience how a bill becomes a law. After learning about an active piece of legislation being considered by the real Senate in Washington, D.C., participants make a statement on the Senate floor, declare their position, and attempt to persuade fellow Senators to vote for their position. In the process, families learn about participatory democracy and the important role of the Senate in our government; many families leave inspired to engage in the civic life of their own communities. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 2 p.m. Lunch and admission are included.

Cost: $130 per person. Notify me when a date is available

Overnight Programs

Underwater Adventures

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium – Sarasota, Florida

Grades 5-7

Sunday, April 13 to Wednesday, April 16, 2019
Families dive right in to the amazing and diverse underwater world at this renowned aquarium and research laboratory, home to unique ocean animals that thrive in Florida’s diverse marine ecosystems, a dolphin and whale hospital, and a sea turtle rehabilitation center. CTYers solve a marine mammal mystery and participate in field experiences such as kayaking through a mangrove forest and collecting marine specimens in Sarasota Bay; meeting some resident animals and their trainers through exclusive tours of the aquarium; and more. Whether exploring the bay aboard a private charter or gaining a deeper understanding of fish anatomy while dissecting an invasive lionfish, families are guaranteed to have fun and learn lots during this exciting program. Please note: Some meals are provided during the program. Hotel reservations and transportation are not included in the cost of this program. More detailed information will be available upon registration.

Cost: $565 per person. Register now

A Night at the Museum

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History – New Haven, Connecticut

Grades 5-7

Saturday, June 1 to Sunday, June 2, 2019
Participants get a behind-the-scenes look at the museum’s paleontology, entomology, and botany departments during this program filled with fascinating workshops and discoveries. Families learn how fossil preparators extract dinosaur bones from the surrounding matrix, and meet other Yale scientists to learn how their research is helping us understand the evolutionary history of life on Earth. This overnight program begins around 5 p.m. on Saturday and ends around 11 a.m. on Sunday. Dinner, a snack, and light breakfast are included. Participants should bring sleeping bags, mats, and pillows as they will be sleeping on the museum floor.

Cost: $185 per person. Register now

Volcano Campout

Mount St. Helens Institute – Toutle, Washington

Grades 2-4

Saturday, July 6 to Sunday, July 7, 2019
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 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.

Cost: $205 per person. Register now

Volcano Campout

Mount St. Helens Institute – Toutle, Washington

Grades 5-7

Saturday, August 3 to Sunday, August 4, 2019
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. Trek in the Blast Zone area and marvel at the dramatic views of the volcano, the Pumice Plain, and Spirit Lake. This campout in the Science and Learning Center offers spectacular views of the crater and lava dome. This program begins around 2 p.m. Saturday and ends around noon on Sunday. It includes dinner and a continental breakfast and lunch. Participants should bring sleeping bags, mats, and pillows as they will be sleeping in bunk beds. Detailed information will be available upon registration.

Cost: $205 per person. Register now

Aquarium Overnight

National Aquarium – Baltimore, Maryland

Grades 2-4

Date TBD
Ever wonder what happens at the National Aquarium when the sun goes down and the doors are closed to the public? This truly unique overnight adventure gives CTY families access to fascinating areas inside the aquarium with an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour, workshops and interactive discussions with aquarium experts, and a closer look at some of the aquarium’s animals. Participants gain an appreciation for what it takes to care for more than 17,000 animals who live there. This program begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday and ends at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. Dinner, a light breakfast and aquarium admission is included. You will need to bring sleeping bags, mats, and pillows, as you will be sleeping on the floor. Please note that everyone must be at least 8 years old to participate in this program.

Cost: $190 per person. Notify me when a date is available

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