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Diversity in STEM

Find Awe-Inspiring STEM Role Models This Summer at Camp Invention

Camp Invention® is a great place to introduce your child to diverse STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) role models and encourage them to embark on their own innovative journey. Our awesome National Inventors Hall of Fame® education team works hard to develop each year’s all-new and exciting program, introducing STEM skills in a week of summer fun for kids across the country. Each new curriculum is inspired and informed by world-changing innovators, our Hall of Famers!

Throughout their week at camp, your child will solve real-world problems and hear real-life lessons as they are introduced to legendary inventors through videos, hands-on challenges and even the Inventor Logs where they’ll read about STEM concepts, record observations and sketch their big ideas.

To get your family excited for a week of STEM fun and learning, we’re giving you a sneak peek into some of the incredible Hall of Famers featured in the four all-new experiences that make up our 2024 Camp Invention program, Illuminate. Secure your child’s spot by registering now, and introduce them to these amazing role models this summer!


In the Game

When your camper designs a one-of-a-kind game board, they’ll encounter inventions across the field of sports – including those developed by Hall of Famers like Stan Honey, Jim West and Gerhard Sessler.

One invention your child will explore is the Virtual Yellow 1st & Ten® line created by Stan Honey and his team. This technology is displayed during televised football games, helping fans see how many yards a team needs to advance to gain a first down. It might just look like a yellow line on the screen, but your camper will learn that it involves a lot of computer programming, problem solving and engineering.

Microphones also play an important role in how we enjoy sports. Announcers and sports talk show hosts speak into a microphone to inform the audience about all the action. Your camper will learn that 90% of today’s microphones are made with technology developed by Hall of Famers Jim West and Gerhard Sessler, the innovative role models who co-invented the electret microphone!


Prototyping Studio

Your child’s creativity will be bursting at the seams as they take on the role of a contestant on an invention game show! Equipped with a DIY toolbox and prototyping tools, they’ll discover how to bring their big ideas to life while they learn about Hall of Famers like Marjorie Stewart Joyner and Lonnie Johnson.

As your camper takes on a series of rapid prototyping challenges, they’ll discover many Hall of Famers who found inspiration in the kitchen. For instance, when Marjorie Stewart Joyner was frustrated with inefficient methods of styling hair, she was inspired to develop a new method when she observed long rods holding a pot roast together, heating it from the inside. Not only did Joyner become a patented inventor after she applied this inspiration to create a permanent wave machine, she also was an advocate for civil rights, education and Black beauty culture.

As another rapid prototyping challenge prompts your camper to create a water feature, they’ll learn the story of Hall of Famer Lonnie Johnson. Johnson once connected a nozzle to a faucet in his bathroom and shot a stream of water across the room. His experiments eventually led to his well-known invention and bestselling toy, the Super Soaker®! Johnson will remind your camper that, “in reality, we are all inventors.”


Operation: HydroDrop

Your camper will set sail on a global operation to tackle real-world water challenges, from floods to droughts to pollution, while they learn the exciting stories of even more awesome innovators!

Your child will be inspired by Hall of Famers including Harriet Strong, inventor of water storage and flood control technology, Frank Zybach, inventor of center-pivot irrigation, and Jacques Cousteau, co-inventor of diving equipment. Putting their new knowledge to use, your camper will team up with friends and build their very own lab-on-wheels, a light-up, mobile bot!

As your camper prepares for a water technology challenge, they’ll watch an engaging video featuring the powerful story of Hall of Famer Ashok Gadgil and his impressive water disinfecting device. Gadgil has helped over 100 million people across four continents by making efficient electric lighting affordable, making water safe to drink and designing energy-efficient stoves.


Let’s Glow

Learning about the science of light, your camper will engineer their own one-of-a-kind Glow Box and experiment with light refraction. They also will lean on the knowledge and innovations of Hall of Famers Frances Ligler and Emmett Chappelle.

Ligler, the inventor of portable optical biosensors, is passionate about empowering others, especially women and underserved youth, to pursue careers in STEM. In an experience inspired by this role model, your camper will learn about light refraction and color change as they make scientific predictions before holding a light against a container of colored water to observe how the light changes.

As your camper adds new layers of various materials to help their Glow Box shine, they’ll watch a video investigating bioluminescence – the ability of some living organisms, such as fireflies and crystal jellyfish, to produce and emit their own light – and learn about Emmette Chappelle’s innovative bioluminescent techniques. Chappelle's innovations in harvesting the power of bioluminescence facilitated important findings in biology and chemistry.


Learn More

To discover even more Hall of Famers who can inspire your child, check out our website.

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