Curriculum Development Helps Curious Campers Become Kid Entrepreneurs

Thanks to generous Annual Fund donors, each year the education team at the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) is able to create a new and impactful Camp Invention® curriculum through a robust 20-month development process.

This process begins as the education team collaborates with NIHF Inductees and begins to infuse lessons from these world-changing inventors into the curriculum. The team interviews teachers and children, and attends national conferences like CES and the Toy Fair to keep up with the latest educational toys and trends. For 10 weeks each summer, the team pilots the new curriculum at schools nationwide to learn how the program can be strengthened.

Data from independent evaluations and program surveys, cutting-edge research in both formal and informal education, and feedback from children, parents and educators all heavily inform how NIHF programs evolve from year to year. These factors, paired with insights from Collegiate Inventors Competition® Finalists and NIHF Inductees, ensure children are provided with the best experiences possible.

As you can imagine, the above process requires significant resources – in both time and funding. This is why the Annual Fund is critical to each year’s curriculum development. Your gift fuels many of the activities mentioned above and results in a new hands-on curriculum that directly translates to boosts in confidence, career readiness, soft skill development and STEM empowerment for children across the country. Read on to find out how the camp experience and Annual Fund support impacted Camp Invention alumni Ayaan and Mika’il Naqvi.


Valuable Lessons Fuel a New Business

When Ayaan Naqvi was in fourth grade, he was tasked with creating his own product for a school project. He found inspiration while looking at his family’s Christmas tree.

Ayaan thought about how every year, a few of their ornaments would fall to the ground and shatter. He realized that if he could find a way to more effectively attach ornaments to the tree, it could make for a great invention.

After discussing his idea with his older brother and fellow Camp Invention alum Mika’il and their mother Amanda, the three began researching materials and building prototypes. The resulting invention, the Ornament Anchor, uses a loop and pull system to secure ornaments safely in place.

When Ayaan presented his invention at school, the response was encouraging. In an interview with NIHF, he said, “I thought to myself that Ornament Anchor could become something big.” He was right.

Ayaan and Mika’il have transformed Ornament Anchor from a school assignment into a thriving business that has sold more than 400,000 units. Recently, the product was even featured on CNN and QVC.

How have two brothers, now in seventh and eighth grade, achieved so much success? It has taken hard work, persistence and, according to Amanda, the invention education her sons have experienced at Camp Invention. “Camp Invention exposed them to so many great problem-solving opportunities and gave them new ways of looking at things,” Amanda said.

From 2016 to 2019, the boys attended the program together, experiencing a brand-new curriculum each year. “Camp Invention sparked my interest in business,” Mika’il said. “We learned about branding, trademarks and copyrights — things that really opened us up to this wonderful world of entrepreneurship.”

When the Naqvi family filed a patent for the Ornament Anchor design, the brothers took a hands-on approach to the process, combing through the patent search documents and doing much of the initial review on their own. “Thanks to Camp Invention, this was not the first time they were exposed to a patent,” their father Hamza said.

In addition to juggling the responsibilities of school, these young entrepreneurs continue working together to grow their Ornament Anchor business. Their goal is to create new marketing campaigns and place their products in more retail stores.


Help More Children Reach Their Goals

Providing pivotal invention education to children like Ayaan and Mika’il is made possible by gifts to the NIHF Annual Fund. Your contribution will directly support curriculum development and lead to experiences that unlock children’s potential.

When you give today, you can change tomorrow.