Blog Behind the NIHF Scenes

How the NIHF Education Team Creates Our STEM Curricula

Behind the NIHF Scenes Program Highlights

From STEM conferences and events including the Consumer Electronics Show (CES®) to interviewing world-changing inventors, our education team is committed to extensive research efforts informing the development of an engaging new Camp Invention® program series each year. Camp Invention is one of the highly acclaimed, hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs offered by the National Inventors Hall of Fame®, ranging from PreK to professional development.

According to Ashley Giordano, manager of program management at the National Inventors Hall of Fame, attending conferences like CES allows her team to stay up to date on the latest trends in STEM and to share their findings with fellow educators.

“Throughout the year, we attend a variety of shows including CES and Toy Fair, as well as STEM and invention education conferences,” Giordano said. “In the past year, we have presented at some of these conferences, including Invent Ed, DoD STEM and the American Society for Engineering Education. Engaging in these events helps our team glean insights on the latest trends, field insights and technological advancements, as well as share our research insights and field-based best practices with a broader arena.”

While attending CES this year, the education team was inspired by the latest advances in many different fields, ranging from agriculture to the video game industry. Additionally, insights gained by observing new developments in smart devices, water technology and lighting have helped inform current research and development for future National Inventors Hall of Fame curricula.


Inductee Integration

An equally important component to creating each year’s innovative STEM curriculum is the inspiration from National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees and according to Giordano, this feature is crucial to empowering the next generation of innovators and is a part of what makes the Hall of Fame’s STEM programming special. Because these Inductees are integrated throughout all of our curricula, they are able to act as role models for children and show them that they too can be inventors.

“Our team has the amazing opportunity to work one-on-one with Our Nation’s Greatest Innovators — the National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees — to learn about their unique innovation journeys, stories, passions and innovations,” Giordano said. “These insights inform and inspire our education programs, and are often integrated through graphics and videos. Inductees sometimes also aid us in curriculum development by providing challenges, sharing feedback and reviewing our STEM content for accuracy.”

Often, at each year’s National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, our education team has the opportunity to interview Inductees, leading to further collaboration. For example, Pop-Up Venture, one of the modules in the 2023 Camp Invention program, features several images from 2022 Inductee Peter Wurman’s personal notebook. At the 2022 Induction Ceremony, Wurman sat down with our education team and explained the importance of sketching, prototyping and having one place to keep ideas. This conversation not only helped develop the Pop-Up Venture curriculum, but a video of this interview is also a part of the program as well.


Learn More About Our Development Process

Interested in learning more about the National Inventors Hall of Fame’s hands-on STEM curricula? We invite you to check out our blog for a behind-the-scenes look at our development process, as well as interviews and insights from program alumni and National Inventors Hall of Fame staff!

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