Celebrate 30 Years of Camp Invention

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Behind the NIHF Scenes

Celebrate 30 Years of Camp Invention

This year, the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) team is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Camp Invention®, our flagship summer program!

Like all our education programs, Camp Invention demonstrates that everyone can invent, and through the act of creating, all children can develop crucial problem-solving skills that will help them succeed in a world that’s becoming increasingly complex.

As we look back on 30 years of Camp Invention, we invite you to learn a little about how this program has grown from a big idea into an unmatched experience that has inspired millions of students across the country.


The winning bid

In 1987, the city of Akron, Ohio, won the bid to host the NIHF Museum, built to honor our nation’s greatest innovators. As the development of the museum progressed, so too did the idea that invention education had the potential to inspire children beyond this unique space. Paired with excitement from local educators and businesses, Camp Invention launched its first programs in 1990.


A growing impact

This small but mighty concept caught on very fast and grew from a few local school districts and eager young innovators into a national STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program.

By 2008 we were running over 1,000 programs every summer, and by 2018 we had programs in all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

Thanks to incredible partnerships with 4,000 school districts and 186,650 educators, we’ve had the privilege of inspiring more than 1.5 million children by helping them cultivate an innovation mindset.


Our Inductee difference

Though the NIHF Museum moved in 2008 to its current home inside the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia, our mission — to recognize inventors and invention, promote creativity and advance the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship — has remained steadfast.

Not only is each year’s brand new curriculum directly influenced by our Hall of Fame Inductees, but since 2013, nearly 7,500 participants have received special camp visits from these inspiring icons. The lessons and stories of our Inductees demonstrate what it means to be an innovator, and through their example, we will continue teaching children to be persistent and always keep improving.


Join the celebration

Thank you for 30 years of amazing support, helping us guide curious children to become the next generation of world-changing inventors.

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