Camp Invention is an Authentic STEM Summer Program for Grades K-6

Inspire students through invention education

Empower your K-6 students to collaborate, create, gain confidence and practice divergent thinking with the acclaimed summer enrichment program that has reached children nationwide for more than 30 years.

This inspiring program brings joy and excitement into both teaching and learning. Based on credible research and directly informed by world-changing inventors, Camp Invention® maintains a 100% Camp Director satisfaction rating and provides a new, tested program each year. Our engaging, hands-on curriculum is aligned to national and state standards and differentiated to meet the needs of primary and intermediate students. An amazing stand-alone experience or the perfect complement to a larger summer learning program, Camp Invention helps overcome learning loss and develop the Innovation MindsetTM — a growth mindset that instills essential skills for any area of life.

What can educators expect from Camp Invention?

Support

The National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) provides the complete program curriculum, materials, training and dedicated support. Teachers gain experience and confidence in teaching STEM subjects and practice an open-ended, student-led instruction style they can easily transfer to their classrooms. Upon completion, Program Team Members receive a letter of recognition from the United States Patent and Trademark Office and a certificate representing 3 CEUs.*

Flexibility

Choose to have all your program materials packed and delivered in either a Class Set or Individual Sets. You can also customize your program to work with any schedule and meet your district’s hour requirements, whether you prefer to run Camp Invention as part of a larger summer learning program or as a stand-alone experience.

Funding

Districts can choose a parent-paid model or rely on the many funding options for which our education programs qualify, including ARP/ESSER, Title I, Title II, Title III, Title IV, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Migrant Education and Early Learning Challenge funding, as well as state and local district resource funding.

Engagement

Educators say they value Camp Invention’s ability to spark joy in teaching and learning. Designed for hands-on engagement and open-ended exploration, the program encourages children’s natural curiosity and creativity while empowering students and teachers to joyfully experiment, innovate and build confidence.

Encourage lifelong engagement in innovation

Independent evaluations have shown that participation in just one week of Camp Invention results in statistically significant short-term and long-term improvements in1:

  • Creativity
  • STEM interest
  • Collaboration
  • Problem-solving skills

In addition to Camp Invention, NIHF has developed an entire network of invention education programs, because we know that when children grow up with exposure to inventors and innovation, they’re more likely to be innovative themselves2, and through invention education, we can create safe spaces where children develop their identities as creators.3

Find out how our program works

Partner with us

Contact us to discuss your needs and develop a plan for your district. Factors to consider include:

  • Do you plan to run a stand-alone program, or will you integrate our curriculum into a larger summer enrichment program?
  • How many hours of programming will you need?
  • Do you plan to use government funding?
  • Would you prefer to receive your program materials in a Class Set or in Individual Sets?

Prepare for your program

  • Confirm your program location (if applicable) and dates
  • Select your Camp Director
  • Your Director selects Program Team Members

Promote your program

  • We open registration for your camp online*
  • We ship you a box full of fun ways to promote your camp*
  • We host promotional and logistics training sessions
  • We provide access to digital tools and resources, such as social media content and videos
  • Your team spreads the word about your program

*Indicates parent paid program

Enjoy your program

  • We schedule delivery of all your program materials and curricula
  • Rely on your dedicated NIHF support team to provide assistance at any time

See what educators are saying about our program

  • Rating of 5 out of 5
    “The curriculum is easy to follow, modify (if needed), and teach. It is also very helpful that the supplies for each module are provided so setup is quick and simple. Great hands-on learning program for students!”
    Stephanie N.

    O'Neill, NE

  • Rating of 5 out of 5
    “The directions were simple enough for my first-graders to follow along as well as challenging enough to keep my fifth-graders interested. This was extremely meaningful to me because I loved being able to see every student succeed in their own way.”
    Amanda S.

    Orlando, FL

  • Rating of 5 out of 5
    “I wish Camp Invention would teach every curricula provider how to pack and organize materials! They do it right.”
    Kathy K.

    Elyria, OH

  • Rating of 5 out of 5
    “Thanks for a great experience. We felt it had a very positive impact on campers and we, as staff, had a great time too! The resources and support were outstanding!”
    Janice E.

    Lancaster, PA

  • Rating of 5 out of 5
    “Organization, presentation and ease of use of the program is phenomenal. The kids really get a wonderful variety and exposure to STEM.”
    Nancy Y.

    Albany, MN

  • Rating of 5 out of 5
    “I was very impressed with the quality of resource guides, videos, materials, packaging, etc. High quality, engaging, very impressive!”
    Abbey F.

    Durango, CO

  • Rating of 5 out of 5
    “The organization and ease of implementation was paramount. For someone who has never done Camp Invention it was easy to figure out and implement with fidelity.”
    Dana D.

    Blacksburg, VA

  • Rating of 5 out of 5
    “I love how organized and hands on each module is. Everything is laid out nicely for both students and instructors!”
    Allison K.

    Parma, OH

  • Rating of 5 out of 5
    “I love how engaging it is every year, the activities are fun and stimulating, the kids are excited and I enjoy it every summer because it's easy!”
    Abby H.

    Wooster, OH

  • Rating of 5 out of 5
    “I really enjoyed the script and the questions that were offered in the collaboration sections. It helped me become comfortable before meeting all the students. The connected videos and pause buttons really helped me keep pace too.”
    Amy L.

    Monroe, CT

  • Rating of 5 out of 5
    “I loved the flexibility of the program to meet the needs of all campers/families. The kits were AMAZING, the teaching resources and materials were also fantastic and made our coaches feel well prepared and confident.”
    Christine P.

    Mount Horeb, WI

  • Rating of 5 out of 5
    “The materials were of good quality, well labeled, and well organized. The modules included enough variety that kids with many different interests were engaged. I really liked the emphasis on problem solving using real-world challenges.”
    Daisy S.

    Saint Charles, MO

  • Rating of 5 out of 5
    “The customer service is phenomenal. Response is thoughtful and timely from every level. I also believe you have talented curriculum developers...”
    Daine S

    Lake City, MN

  • Rating of 5 out of 5
    “There is so much wonderful support before and during the program. I always feel like I’m giving the students the best opportunity to engage in STEM thinking. The quality of curriculum is outstanding and engaging.”
    Erica K.

    Jeffersonville, IN

What roles make up a Camp Invention Program Team?

Director

The Director is the liaison between NIHF and the host site. Directors are responsible for promoting the program and recruiting, training and supervising Program Team Members, along with coordinating site logistics.

Assistant Director

For programs with 70 or more participants, an Assistant Director supports the Director in coordinating all aspects of the program as assigned by the Director. Assistant Director responsibilities may include promoting the program, facilitating Base Camp activities, overseeing site and program safety, supervising Leadership Interns and Leaders-in-Training, keeping inventory of materials and helping with on-site coordination.

Instructor

Instructors engage children through hands-on, inquiry-based activities that are part of an overall storyline and theme. Prior to the program, Instructors assist with promotional efforts. During the program, Instructors are provided with step-by-step instructions, guiding questions and discussion prompts to present key concepts and highlight inventor stories. Many educators transfer their experience from Camp Invention to their classrooms.

Camp Parent

Camp Parents assist Directors in promoting their program on the local level. They can help increase enrollment posting on social media, conducting email campaigns, coordinating promotion with PTA/PTO councils, distributing flyers, and promoting through community events, newspapers or bulletin boards.

Leadership Interns

Leadership Interns are high school and college students who serve as role models, mentor Leaders-in-Training, facilitate camp activities and create a fun environment where innovation can thrive, all while learning leadership strategies and gaining practical volunteering experience.

Volunteers

Volunteers are an integral part of day-to-day activities and may be involved with aiding promotional efforts, assisting with sign-in and sign-out, supervising Base Camp as well as lunch and snack time, and supporting program setup and cleanup.

We want to partner with more educators just like you!

References

Find Additional Information for Massachusetts Parents

1. Donald J. Treffinger, Camp Invention Evaluation. Sarasota (FL): Center for Creative Learning (2001); Bureau of Research Training and Services in the College and Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State University (2007); A. Scarisbrick-Hauser, B. Hauser, 2010 Camp Invention Program Evaluation (2010); ChangeMaker Consulting, LLC, Camp Invention Evaluation (2014); J. Falk, Camp Invention Evaluation Report. Institute for Learning Innovation (2018).

2. A. Bell, R. Chetty, X. Jaravel, N. Petkova, and J. Van Reenen, Who Becomes an Inventor in America? The Importance of Exposure to Innovation. Opportunity Insights (2017).

3. Garner, J., Matheny, E., Rutledge, A., & Kuhn, M. (2021, August 11). Invention Education as a Context for Children's Identity Exploration. Journal of STEM Outreach.

4. *Acceptance of CEUs is subject to your state or district continuing education requirements.

Bring this program to your district