As part of the National Inventors Hall of Fame’s (NIHF) mission to unlock children’s potential to become creators, innovators and entrepreneurs, NIHF creates STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programming that helps students develop a passion for learning and exploration.
To help inspire as many children as possible, NIHF has the privilege of partnering with generous people, organizations, foundations and corporations to make a difference for children in underserved or under-resourced communities. These philanthropic partnerships are vital to achieving a shared vision for the future, and we are grateful for their support.
Partners Make a Difference in the Lives of Children
Thanks to the remarkable generosity of our donors, this year, 133,000 underserved children received scholarships or financial support to participate in an in-person or at-home Camp Invention® program. This early introduction to STEM introduces those who attend Camp Invention to inspiring STEM role models – our NIHF Inductees – and bridges the diversity gap present in STEM fields.
Because research shows children who are exposed to innovation at an early age are more likely to innovate into adulthood, the authentic integration of NIHF Inductees within the Camp Invention curriculum is critical to show all participants all they are capable of achieving. In fact, a recent study funded by The Lemelson Foundation and Overdeck Family Foundation found that attending Camp Invention provides children with a way to explore and develop their own inventive identities. These identities include attributes like persistence, problem-solving skills and positive attitudes toward participation in STEM.
Below are a few stories about how this year’s transformational partnerships made a difference for the next generation of innovators:
Overdeck Family Foundation
Founded in 2011 by John and Laura Overdeck, Overdeck Family Foundation partners with NIHF in part because of NIHF’s successful track record creating STEM programming that significantly impacts levels of creativity, STEM interest and STEM skills for students in grades K-6. The Foundation also aligns with NIHF’s focus on providing STEM programming to children who would otherwise not be able to participate. Additionally, the Foundation respects NIHF’s commitment to maintaining quality education programs using data and research.
“Research shows NIHF programs result in statistically significant improvements in creativity, STEM interest and problem-solving skills,” Gemma Lenowitz, program officer for the Inspired Minds portfolio, said in an interview with NIHF. “That impact translates to school, where students increase attendance, improve test scores and increase average GPA.”
Check out our blog to learn more about NIHF’s partnership with Overdeck Family Foundation.
The Army Educational Outreach Program
Since 2011, the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) has partnered with NIHF to provide scholarships for underrepresented students to attend Camp Invention and benefit from the program’s inspiring hands-on curriculum. During summer 2021, AEOP impacted more than 2,000 students in need at 26 sites local to Army Research Centers and Laboratories across the country through Camp Invention.
“NIHF’s use of hands-on activities, creativity and problem solving perfectly aligns with AEOP’s goals to engage and inspire the next generation of STEM innovators,” said Brian Leftridge, deputy AEOP cooperative agreement manager, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. “Regardless of whether or not that student chooses to pursue higher education or a career in STEM, these experiences at such a young, impressionable age have an important impact on students’ intellectual development.”
Visit NIHF’s blog to learn more about AEOP’s mission and its ongoing partnership with NIHF!
This year, General Motors (GM) partnered with NIHF to support the new Camp Invention module, Road Rally. Aligning with GM’s commitment to sustainability, Road Rally highlights the importance of developing innovative vehicles that adapt to different environments and run on alternative, environmentally friendly fuel sources.
Both NIHF and GM believe in the importance of STEM education and developing today’s students into the innovators of tomorrow. Because of this focus, GM provides innovative programs like Camp Invention to increase the presence, persistence and achievements in STEM among diverse communities that have historically lacked equitable access. NIHF programs feature NIHF Inductees as diverse role models for populations who are underrepresented in STEM.
Please visit NIHF’s website to learn more about this exciting new partnership between NIHF and GM.
Thank You to All Our Amazing Partners!
We would like to sincerely thank all our 2021 Camp Invention donors for their support.