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Behind the NIHF Scenes

How NIHF Inductees Inform the Camp Invention Curriculum

One of the main reasons why Camp Invention®, the flagship summer program from the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF), has continued to inspire millions of students over its 30-year history is because its curriculum is inspired and informed by our NIHF Inductees.  

For Jayme Cellitioci, creativity and innovation strategist at NIHF, that direct access and ability to collaborate with our nation’s greatest innovators is a key piece of what enables our NIHF education team to consistently develop authentic and unique programming.

“Not only are we excited to be able to have these direct connections and conversations with our Inductees, but they are just as excited to be connected to the next generation of inventors through our programs,” Cellitioci said. “The enthusiasm and commitment of our Hall of Famers is not only demonstrated by their willingness to help shape Camp Invention’s activities, but since 2013, we’ve had over 100 Inductee visits to program sites all across the country!”


Inductee Jim West and Open Mic

Of the four exciting modules that make up our new summer 2021 Camp Invention program, Recharge, our education team is particularly excited about the take-home item in Open Mic. Every child is receiving their own wireless microphone to keep (and look inside)!

Integrating insights from Inductee Jim West, co-inventor of the electret microphone, Open Mic guides participants to reverse engineer a wireless microphone, explore its functions, and then follow the Camp Invention Design Thinking Process to create and pitch their own incredible inventions.

West contributed to making this experience one that helps children build confidence in their creative abilities. In fact, it is his voice that children hear when they power on their microphones. Because microphones enable the amplification of a person’s voice, the education team knew that it was the perfect take-apart item to represent the power of inventive self-expression. In Open Mic, every child will take home a wireless microphone featuring Jim West’s voice.

“What’s amazing is that in Open Mic, we are able to integrate a Hall of Famer using the very technology they invented,” Cellitioci said. “By having the co-inventor of the electret microphone introduce his invention and encourage children to use their voices to change the world, we honor today’s innovators by inspiring future ones.”

Though West is featured prominently in the Open Mic module, he isn’t alone. Instead, he is joined by 31 other NIHF Inductees who are introduced throughout the experience — from Iver Anderson, inventor of lead-free solder, to Mary Anderson, inventor of the windshield wiper.


Learn More About Camp Invention

West’s role in developing our Recharge curriculum is just one example of how our Inductees are involved in crafting our educational programs. In fact, the 2021 program integrates a total of 81 unique Inductees whose stories will help instill the Innovation Mindset — skills and attributes necessary for success in any field.

To learn more about next year’s exciting Camp Invention program, Recharge, we invite you to visit our website!

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