Back to Blog
Behind the NIHF Scenes

50 Years of Innovation: Celebrating Creativity

“There is no shortage of creativity among young people, especially if we let them follow their instinctive curiosity. The challenge for each of us is to preserve that sense of wonderment that emerges as every child grows — that wonderment that occasionally blossoms into invention.”
— National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductee Gertrude Belle Elion, inventor of anti-leukemia drugs


Since 1973, the National Inventors Hall of Fame has been dedicated to inspiring the inventor in everyone. We know that each individual has the potential to be creative and to apply that creativity to solve even the most complex challenges.

In honor of our 50th anniversary, join us in celebrating creativity and dreaming of what the next generation of creators can achieve with our collective support.

Finding Creative Inspiration

Creativity can happen anywhere, at any time! To spark your own creative spirit, we encourage you to explore inspiring stories and try some creative activities together with your family.

To learn about some of the world’s greatest creators and innovators, visit our website and discover the stories of more than 600 Hall of Famers. You’ll find visionaries who have changed the way we create, like Les Paul, inventor of the solid-body electric guitar; Allene Jeanes, who invented the xanthan gum used in watercolor paints; and Walt Disney, who invented the multiplane camera to create revolutionary animation.

After exploring our Inductees’ stories, exercise your own maker skills as you join friends or family to take on some fun STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) challenges! Here are just a few of our favorites:


Encouraging Creativity Across the Country

Providing hands-on invention education programs including Camp Invention® and Invention Project® is an essential part of fulfilling our mission to recognize inventors, promote creativity, and advance the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Developed in collaboration with our Hall of Famers and made possible by generous sponsors and donors, each National Inventors Hall of Fame education program is designed with creativity at its core.

To encourage lifelong curiosity and creativity, our supporters and dedicated local educators have helped us engage children in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico in imaginative experiences that give them the freedom to express themselves.

Each time we hear from families and educators who see the benefits of our programs firsthand, it strengthens our resolve to provide even more young innovators with creative opportunities.

“Thank you for such a fun time at camp! I loved learning how to create using stuff around the house.”
— Dallas, Camp Invention camper


“Camp Invention really gave [my child] a lot of confidence and opened the doors to creativity again. All of a sudden, he is picking up his pencils, markers, paintbrushes and everything again just to make more inventions at home. I’m really grateful for this camp.”
— Kellie N., Camp Invention parent, Kyle, TX


“Both my children haven’t stopped talking about how much fun they had at camp. From explaining things they learned to creating new things at home. It is amazing to see how this camp sparked creativity and passion in both of them for inventing and learning!”
— Camp Invention parent


“Camp Invention motivated my son to engage in creative and critical thinking, and ignited his desire to invent, create and innovate.”
— April M., Camp Invention parent, Montgomery, AL


“Every year, I get to see students engage in using their creativity and collaborating. These are great life lessons that I think our children need for academic and social-emotional growth.”
— Lori L., Educator, Montgomery, TX


“Allowing kids the freedom to be creative is where invention starts.”
— Christy M., Educator, Worthington, MN


“Invention is what drives society forward. If students can use creativity and problem solving to invent products and ideas, we can resolve issues and create a higher quality of life for all.”
— Steven B., Educator, Ames, IA


Share Your Story

Do you have a story about how you or a child in your life has engaged in creativity through an experience with the National Inventors Hall of Fame? Visit to share your story and learn how you could win a trip to Washington, D.C., to help us celebrate our 50th anniversary at The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation®!

Related Articles