50 Years of Innovation
Your Support Fuels Our Mission
Founded in 1973 in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) has honored, inspired and challenged more than 3 million children, educators and inventors across the country.
From the beginning, we’ve relied on the support of our partners, sponsors and donors to connect generations of innovators. Now, we invite you to join us in celebrating 50 years of innovation, inspiration and impact while helping to shape the next 50 years with a meaningful gift.
Honoring the Greatest Innovators Since 1973
Our Hall of Fame honors world-changing U.S. patent holders and shares their valuable lessons with the next generation through stories of ingenuity, progress and persistence.
At our first Induction Ceremony, we honored one inventor: Thomas Edison. As we welcome our 2023 class at the Greatest Celebration of American Innovation®, we will bring our total Hall of Fame Inductees to 624 and counting.
Promoting Hands-On Creativity Since 1987
By opening a makerspace in Akron, Ohio — the region’s first makerspace — NIHF began encouraging innovators of all ages to explore, experiment and engage in hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
As this space sparked imagination among thousands of children, it became the catalyst for even bigger opportunities, inspiring the NIHF team to develop more empowering experiences for creators across the country.
Inspiring Young Innovators Since 1990
With the launch of Camp Invention®, NIHF became a leader in invention education. This nationwide K-6 STEM summer camp guides children to build an innovative mindset and skills through hands-on, problem-solving fun.
In 1990, it all began with just one Camp Invention program. In 2022, more than 240,000 children attended NIHF education programs across the country.
Challenging Emerging Innovators Since 1990
The Collegiate Inventors Competition® (CIC) recognizes and rewards the nation’s most creative college and university students, and gives them the chance to gain direct feedback from NIHF Inductees and intellectual property experts.
To date, 534 students have reached CIC’s Finalist round, where they have enjoyed one-of-a-kind networking opportunities and competed for cash prizes and patent acceleration.
Welcoming Visitors at the USPTO Since 2008
The NIHF Museum is the National Monument to Innovation®, and since moving to the USPTO campus in Alexandria, Virginia in 2008, it has sparked the spirit of innovation in visitors of all ages.
Offering free admission, our museum features rotating exhibits highlighting extraordinary creators, innovators and entrepreneurs. Our Inductee Display and Gallery of Icons™, protected by a utility patent and three design patents, offer a particularly inspiring experience.
Reaching All 50 States Since 2018
Bringing invention education programs to children in every state, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, NIHF has made hands-on STEM exploration accessible in a diverse array of communities.
Each year, dedicated local educators lead NIHF’s unique, inventor-inspired experiences in thousands of locations, from small rural schools to large urban districts.
Advancing Invention Education Today
With hands-on, equitable education programs for preschool on, NIHF is now reaching more children than ever before, sparking curiosity, creativity and collaboration through confidence-boosting experiences.
More than 3 million children have participated in NIHF education programs since 1990. To connect these young innovators with exceptional role models, NIHF Inductees were featured in curriculum and in-person program visits.
Investing in the Future of American Ingenuity
Over the past five decades, we have learned how every inventor can inspire countless others to make their own creative mark on the world. Together with our partners, NIHF will build on our progress to continue connecting one generation of innovators with the next.
As we look toward the future, we are grateful for our supporters’ generosity and dedication to inspiring the innovator in us all.
See the Impact of Your Support
NIHF’s story is best told by our visionary Hall of Famers, our generous sponsors and donors, and the inspiring educators, children and families involved in our invention education programs.
For each month of our 50th year, we’ll be sharing a new video highlighting a different aspect of our supporters’ impact from the perspective of members of our NIHF family. You won’t want to miss each month’s unique video, which will motivate the innovator in everyone.
Share Your Story for a Chance to Win!
Are you a member of the NIHF family with your own story of inspiration and innovation? Whether you’re an educator, a Camp Invention camper or family member, or an aspiring inventor – we want to hear from you!
To tell us your story, record a 30-second video and share it with us by posting and tagging @campinvention and #NIHFstories on our social channels or by sending it to [email protected].
Your story will serve as your entry in our 50 Years of Innovation Sweepstakes! Three winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Washington, D.C. to attend our 2023 Induction Ceremony in October.
Entries must be submitted by July 31, 2023.