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Behind the NIHF Scenes

50 Years of Innovation: Prioritizing Empowerment

“The most important thing [for young innovators] is to realize that their ideas are important. Once they realize their ideas have value, they can make a difference in the world."
— National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductee Frances Ligler, inventor of portable optical biosensors


Since 1973, the National Inventors Hall of Fame has been dedicated to connecting and uplifting generations of creators and innovators who have the potential to change the world.

Founded in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, our Hall of Fame is celebrating 50 years of inspiration, innovation and impact – and we invite you to get involved in helping us shape the next 50 years.

Building the I Can Invent Mindset

The National Inventors Hall of Fame is committed to inspiring the inventor in everyone. We welcome the public with free admission into the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum to explore interactive exhibits telling the ongoing story of American innovation, and we recognize and reward the nation’s most creative college students through our annual Collegiate Inventors Competition®. We also empower the next generation of innovators though nationwide, hands-on invention education programs designed for preschool on.

One reason National Inventors Hall of Fame education programs are so effective is that they are the only STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) programs that are directly inspired and influenced by Our Nation’s Greatest Innovators — National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees.

When children participate in programs like Camp Invention® or Invention Project®, they engage in hands-on challenges that demonstrate the diverse lessons of our Inductees. Each experience helps these young innovators build the I Can Invent® Mindset — the same mindset our Inductees have used to change the world.

The I Can Invent Mindset combines confidence, persistence, collaboration and innovation with STEM, design thinking, creative problem solving, intellectual property and entrepreneurship. By helping them build the skills and traits they need to navigate their lives, our programs empower children to see the value of their ideas and realize their full potential, now and in the future.


Empowerment in Action

To better understand the impact of our invention education programs, just take a look at some feedback from the educators who bring our programs to life and families who sign their children up to take part in these unique and meaningful experiences.

“Giving kids a chance to invent and create with a variety of materials is so important. The pride I see in their faces when they have something they have created and the excitement of knowing how something works — it gives them confidence to try new things.”
— Carol P., Educator, Farmington, NY


“Connecting real-world stories of people who saw a need and invented a device, idea or process to fill that need is empowering to students.”
— Karen G., Educator, Kenosha, WI


“The most meaningful part of Camp Invention is empowering children to try their own ideas, providing them the tools and support to look for their own solutions using their own creativity, ingenuity and ideas.”
— Brooke B., Educator, Norman, OK


“Both my kids loved Camp Invention! They loved having the opportunity to create, innovate and iterate, and they were intensely proud to tell of their work each day!”
— Amy T., Camp Invention parent, Charlotte, NC


“We were blown away by how inventive our child could be. She has always been an artist. Camp Invention married her love for art with science. She has so much confidence to try new things. We will send her every year!”
— Tiffany B., Camp Invention parent, Cabot, AR


“My grandchildren look forward to Camp Invention. The lessons are motivating, interesting and keep their attention. The teachers have been fantastic and very uplifting.”
— Charlotte M., Camp Invention grandparent, Longmont, CO


“My son is a STEM thinker. He struggles with the structure of public education. Camp Invention supports his thinking, and empowered him to continue to think outside the box and build on his strengths. At Camp Invention, he thrived!”
— Brittney Z., Camp Invention parent, Cheney, WA


Contribute to the Next 50 Years of Innovation

Your donation to the National Inventors Hall of Fame gives meaningful opportunities to children, educators and emerging inventors. You can direct your support to the cause you value most, from providing scholarships for STEM education programs to funding hands-on learning materials.

Visit our website to make a one-time contribution or provide steady support by selecting a monthly donation.

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