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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.

Upcoming Programs

Explorations in Science

Lawrence Hall of Science – Berkeley, California

Grades 5-7

Saturday, October 20, 2018
Participants in this hands-on program become scientists for the day through three fascinating workshops at Lawrence Hall of Science. Is there a way to make fans run more efficiently during a heat wave? CTYers and their families examine circuits and design ways to wire a building more effectively by transferring energy from its source to the fans. Then dry ice inspires us to create our own questions and investigations in a frosty, foggy, and bubbly workshop which ends with a bang! Later, through external explorations and dissection of a squid, families learn how these mysterious creatures swim, catch prey, eat, and emit ink to evade predators. This program will begin around 10 a.m. and end around 4 p.m. Lunch and admission to the museum are included.      

Cost: $135 per person, CLOSEDAdd me to the wait list

Mesopotamia: Cradle of Civilization

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Grades 5-7

Sunday, October 21, 2018
Participants in this enlightening program take a “highlights tour” of the museum galleries to discover how the earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia gave rise to great cities not so different from our own. They also investigate the ancient Mesopotamian writing system by creating a cylinder seal, which served as the earliest known signature. They tour the museum’s Middle East Galleries, where they find other examples of ancient writing, and artifacts excavated by archaeologists that tell the story of daily life and royalty in Mesopotamia. Later families team up to work on a mock dig site, using both evidence and imagination to piece together the past and create a unique display of their archaeological findings. This program begins around 9 a.m. and end around 3 p.m. Lunch and museum admission are included.

Cost: $130 per person, Register now

The Aspiring Architect

National Building Museum – Washington, D.C.

Grades 2-4

Sunday, October 28, 2018
Engineers and architects are constantly working to design buildings and structures that stand up to invisible forces. In this hands-on program, participants become problem-solving city planners and architects to perform a close study of various buildings; try their hand at architectural drawing; and work in groups to design and construct a model city out of recycled building materials. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 3:30 p.m. Morning refreshments and lunch are included.

Cost: $130 per person, Register now

Exploring Space and Engineering

Fleet Science Center – San Diego, California

Grade 5-7

Saturday, November 3, 2018
The Fleet Science Center’s resident astronomer begins this program with a discussion of the latest research on planet Mars. Then participants become space engineers as they design, build, and race their own Mars solar rovers. Participants investigate the famous landing of the Curiosity rover and create their own parachute system and test their designs to see if it helps an egg survive a fall from a high location. This program begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. Lunch and museum admission are included.

Cost: $130 per person, CLOSEDAdd me to the wait list

Coding and Game Design

The Franklin Institute – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Grades 5-7

Sunday, November 4, 2018
Participants learn about block coding and command logic while animating Sphero robots. Then they design a maze and learn to code Sphero through it. Later, families take a workshop on coding and video game design, and learn to operate a user-friendly programming and circuitry device. They also build a video game controller and discover other programming involved in gaming. Participants are also invited to tour the museum’s new exhibit Vikings: Beyond the Legend, and journey back to when Vikings navigated the North Atlantic and sailed the seas in search of new lands and watch the new IMAX movie Vikings: Journey to the New WorldsThis program begins at 9 a.m. and ends around 3 p.m. A $12 lunch voucher and museum admission are included.

Cost: $135 per person, CLOSEDAdd me to the wait list

Mummies and More: Exploring Ancient Egypt

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Grades 2-4

Sunday, November 4, 2018
Participants get a rare chance to see mummies, sarcophagi, and objects of daily life in ancient Egypt up-close at this museum, which houses one of the most impressive collections of Egyptian artifacts in the world. Using a lifelike mummy, participants learn the process of mummification and embalming. Then they delve deeper into the afterlife with a hands-on workshop on hieroglyphs, tombs, and false doors—ancient Egyptian passageways between the worlds of the living and the dead. Families learn from a real Egyptologist about this mysterious region, the most advanced of any ancient civilization. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 3 p.m. Lunch and museum admission are included.                      

Cost: $130 per person, CLOSEDAdd me to the wait list

Magic at the Met

Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York, New York

Grades 5-7

Two dates!
Election Day - Tuesday, November 6 & Monday, November 12, 2018

Families see the Metropolitan Museum of Art through a magical lens with this tour inspired by the Harry Potter series that includes part of an actual castle and signage that could have come right from Diagon Alley. The exhibit uses games and other activities to connect kids and their families with these popular fantasy books. Brush up on your wizarding knowledge—and feel free to wear your wizarding gear for this program hosted by Fable & Lark, an innovative, educational organization that conducts storied adventures. This program begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. The cost of the program includes museum admission and a $25 “express coupon” to use in the museum’s cafeteria.

Cost: $150 per person

The Science of Speed

San Diego Air & Space Museum – San Diego, California

Grades 2-4

Sunday, November 18, 2018
Participants build and test flying cars, BattleBots, and balloon-powered rovers in this hands-on program for budding engineers. Families take a behind-the-scenes guided tour of the museum’s restoration area, a hidden world of propellers and engines, tools, and drafting tables. Then they view the new exhibit Speed: Science in Motion, an interactive exploration of the technology behind fast machines. At the end of the day, families take part in a secret mission involving a payload drop. This program begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. Lunch and museum admission are included.                                   

Cost: $130 per person, CLOSEDAdd me to the wait list

Overnight Programs

Aquarium Overnight

The National Aquarium – Baltimore, Maryland

Grades 5-7

Saturday, November 10- Sunday, November 11, 2018
What happens at the National Aquarium when the sun goes down and the doors are closed to the public? Join us for this unique overnight adventure designed especially for CTY families which allows access to all corners of the aquarium. Take an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour, engage in workshops and interactive discussions with aquarium experts, and get up-close and personal with sea creatures. During an expert-led journey, you’ll see exactly what goes into caring for more than 17,000 creatures who live there. This program is an overnight. It begins at 5 p.m. Saturday and ends at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. It includes dinner, a light breakfast, and admission to the aquarium on Sunday. Participants should bring sleeping bags, mats, and pillows as they will sleep on the floor of the aquarium.

Cost: $205 per person, Register now


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