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Family Programs for Grades 7–12

Our interactive programs include all-day and overnight learning experiences for students and parents at prestigious museums, aquariums, and science centers. Program structure varies at each site, but every event includes hands-on activities during which families can learn and discover new interests together.

Featured Program

Discover the past with CTY at New York's oldest museum.

America's Industrial Past and Present

New York Historical Society – New York
Day Program, Grades 7–12
green-arrow Sunday, November 10, 2019

See New York’s oldest museum, the New York Historical Society, through a whole new lens. Designed exclusively for CTY families, this program invites participants to explore the U.S. Industrial Era and examine the impact its innovations have had on American society over time. Through engaging discussions and hands-on activities, participants will delve into the new machines and manufacturing processes of the Industrial Revolution, then use the modern, cutting-edge technologies of today to create their own robotics and circuitry. Families will also have the opportunity to experience “The Big Picture” gallery, an exhibit about American panoramas. This program will begin around 10 a.m. and end around 4 p.m. Lunch and museum admission are included.

Cost: $135 per person
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Programs for Grades 5–7

Lunar Engineering and Science

Fleet Science Center – San Diego
Day Program, Grades 5–7
green-arrow Saturday, November 2, 2019

Discover the dark side of the moon in San Diego with CTY.Join the Fleet Science Center’s resident astronomer, Dr. Lisa Will, for an expedition to Earth’s nearest celestial neighbor: the moon. Through lively discussions and activities, participants will become space engineers for a day, examining the latest lunar research; designing, building, and launching their own rocket; and creating and testing a space shuttle parachute system to see if their shuttle can survive a rapid descent into Earth’s atmosphere. This program will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. Lunch and museum admission are included.

Cost: $135 per person
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Coding and Problem-Solving: Surviving Worst-Case Scenarios

The Franklin Institute – Philadelphia
Day Program, Grades 5–7
green-arrow Sunday, November 3, 2019

Learn coding and problem solving at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.What do robots and disaster survival skills have in common? Find out in this exciting day-long program at The Franklin Institute! Through hands-on activities and engaging discussions, participants will learn about computer coding and command logic using small robots called Ozobots, design and test a flight device to safely transport a 3-D–designed object, and tour the new exhibit The Worst-Case Scenario: Survival Experience, where they’ll use problem-solving and teamwork to navigate a series of survival scenarios. The program concludes with a screening of the new IMAX movie Volcanoes: The Fires of CreationThis program begins at 9 a.m. and ends around 3 p.m. Lunch and museum admission are included.

Cost: $140 per person
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Magic at the Met

Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York
Day Program, Grades 5–7
green-arrow Tuesday, November 5, 2019
green-arrow Monday, November 11, 2019

Experience a magical night of Harry Potter at the Met in New York.See the Metropolitan Museum of Art through a magical lens on this tour inspired by the Harry Potter series. Participants will view 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 around 3:30 p.m. Museum admission and a $25 "express coupon" to use in the museum’s cafeteria are included.

Cost: $155 per person
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Aquarium Overnight

The National Aquarium – Baltimore
Overnight Program, Grades 5–7
green-arrow Saturday, November 23 to Sunday, November 24, 2019

Stay overnight at the National Aquarium with CTY.

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 exclusive 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. Saturday and ends at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Dinner, a light breakfast, and admission to the aquarium are included. Participants should bring sleeping bags, mats, and pillows.

Cost: $195 per person
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Mission to Phobos: Aerospace Engineering and Technology

Museum of Flight – Seattle
Day Program, Grades 5–7

green-arrow Sunday, December 8, 2019

Blast off into the exciting world of aerospace science, engineering, and technology at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. Guided by museum educators, families will embark on a fascinating virtual mission to Phobos, one of Mars's moons. During their voyage, participants will find that the mission is in jeopardy due to a rogue asteroid on a collision course with Mars, and they'll work together using the tools of aerospace engineers and scientists to handle the emergency and its aftermath. After saving the mission and safely returning to Earth, our hero engineers will study the effects of space flight on the human body, designing their own space-ready pressure suit and testing it in the Museum’s portable vacuum chamber. This program begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends around 2:30 p.m. Lunch, museum admission, and educational materials are included.

Cost: $135 per person
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Spy Games

International Spy Museum – Washington, D.C.
Overnight Program, Grades 5–7
green-arrow Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, October 20, 2019

The museum doors have been locked for the night. Behind the shadows, a group of exclusive recruits stand ready to begin a night of top-secret spy training. CTYers and their families will perfect their alias and cover story, check in at “Border Patrol,” and prepare for a night of intrigue and adventure. They will begin their mission by assuming a secret identity and gathering intelligence using real spy skills. During the night, students will transform themselves through disguise; make and break secret codes; interrogate real spies; and hunt for a mole in their ranks. Meanwhile, the adults will be busy with their own clandestine mission, the details of which are too sensitive to reveal. As day breaks, enemy agents will be exposed in a dramatic finale. This program begins around 6 p.m. Saturday and ends around 10 a.m. Sunday. Participants should bring sleeping bags, mats, and pillows as they will be sleeping on the museum floor. A sandwich dinner, SPY snacks, a light breakfast, and museum admission are included.

Cost: $195 per person
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Explorations in Science: Celestial Mechanics

Lawrence Hall of Science – Berkeley, California
Day Program, Grades 5–7
green-arrow Saturday, December 7, 2019

Join CTY at the Lawrence Hall of Science for an out-of-this-world exploration of astronomy, chemistry, engineering, and the physical realm. Through hands-on experiments, activities, and discussions, participants will dive deep into intersections between the laws of motion and gravitation, systems of planets and moons, the solar system, and our galaxy, employing engineering practices to determine the roles of force and motion in the design of moving mechanisms. This program will begin around 10 a.m. and end around 4 p.m. Lunch and museum admission are included.

Cost: $135 per person
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Programs for Grades 7–12

Holographic Microscopy

New York University (NYU)
Day Program, Grades 7–10
green-arrow Saturday, November 2, 2019

Participants will build working holographic microscopes and use them to perform experiments on systems, including iridescent colloidal crystals, natural colloidal dispersions, and bacteria. The program offers a tutorial on holograms and computational holography, an introduction to high-power techniques of computer vision, and a hands-on clinic for precision measurements with homemade microscopes. An in-line holographic microscope uses laser illumination and a conventional video camera to record holograms of microscopic objects; using techniques from computer vision to analyze the resulting stream of holograms yields astonishingly precise information about the positions and properties of particles. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 4 p.m.

Cost: $155 per person
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Inside APL

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory – Laurel, Maryland
Day Program, Grades 7–10
green-arrow Monday, November 11, 2019

In its 70-year history, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has worked with the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, NASA, and the National Security Administration, among others, to find solutions to some of the country’s most pressing scientific and national security challenges. Participants in this program will explore the engineering, research, and development approaches used to solve some of these challenges by engaging with APL scientists and engineers, and will learn about APL’s internship opportunities. This program begins around 9 a.m. and ends around 4 p.m. Lunch is included.

Cost: $145 per person
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Shocking Henries, Leaping Lizards, and Meandering Water Bears: Exploring Electromagnetism, Engineering, and Biology

Princeton University – Princeton, New Jersey
Day Program, Grades 7–10
green-arrow Saturday, November 16, 2019

Join us for an unforgettable day-long exploration of electromagnetism, engineering, and biology hosted by two renowned Princeton University professors. Through hands-on experiments and engaging lectures, participants will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Oersted’s discovery of electromagnetism by learning about units of electromagnetic inductance called henries, as well as delve into the many original and modern applications of electromagnetism. Later, families will investigate control strategies used by lizards and collective behavior in biology (the way birds flock and skin heals), putting what they’ve learned into practice by making mazes to trap tiny ‘water bears’ called Tardigrades.

Cost: $140 per person
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