FAQs for Educators

Find answers to educators’ most frequently asked questions.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame® develops high-quality STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs. We are the only organization with a direct connection to insights from world-changing inventors: our National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees. We have built an innovation ecosystem to introduce children to the invention process early and encourage them to continue developing a passion for innovation throughout their lives. Through our unique, hands-on curricula, children experience proven cognitive and emotional gains as they build the I Can Invent® Mindset. Our STEM education opportunities include:

  • Camp Invention®, a summer education program for grades K-6, plus leadership roles for middle school, high school and college
  • Club Invention®, an afterschool education program for grades 1-6
  • Invention Project®, a year-round education program for grades PreK-8
  • Professional Development, workshops that address inquiry-based and project-based learning (PBL) needs

Please reach out and we will be happy to discuss how we might partner with you to provide these hands-on, innovative programs.

Founded in 1973, in partnership with the USPTO, the National Inventors Hall of Fame recognizes and celebrates Our Nation’s Greatest Innovators™. We use their inspiration and stories to encourage innovators of all ages to explore, create and invent. Our museum is located in the atrium of the USPTO in Alexandria, Virginia, and is free and open to the public.

Yes. We design all our curricula to align with state standards, Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Additionally, each program unit has been carefully crafted to incorporate English language arts and math highlights, support life skills development and provide opportunities for open-ended exploration of STEM concepts. Contact us for our program alignments to your state standards.

All National Inventors Hall of Fame education programs can be customized to fit your school or district’s unique implementation needs. From the number of content hours to the modules included, we can create a solution tailored to your exact requirements.

After participating in just one week of our program, research shows students benefit in significant short- and long-term gains in creativity, STEM interest, collaboration and problem solving. Additionally, participating in Camp Invention during the summer has been shown to increase students’ academic performance and engagement the following school year.

National Inventors Hall of Fame education programs prepare your students to become great leaders. They provide unique STEM experiences incorporating the invaluable knowledge of our National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees, who are exceptional career role models for your students. Our programs will empower your students to brainstorm, collaborate and solve realistic problems. Through this process, they will learn that failure is necessary on the path to success, building confidence in their ability to overcome obstacles. 

Our programs are developed by a team of education experts with a variety of STEM backgrounds. All programs are designed using a combination of STEM, 21st Century Learning skills and inquiry-based learning content delivered through a combination of individual and group challenges. Our programs are tested and evaluated before being released to our education partners. Our programs are unique in that Collegiate Inventors Competition® Finalists and National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees are not only featured in our modules, but they also personally have a hand in creating and shaping our curricula.

A nonprofit organization, the National Inventors Hall of Fame is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of creators, innovators and entrepreneurs. With a national reach, our PreK-8 programs provide local benefits, as well as high school leadership opportunities. Two decades ago, we began formally measuring our impact. During this time, multiple independent evaluations have confirmed both the short- and long-term benefits of our programs. 

Only the National Inventors Hall of Fame can integrate the stories, insights and unique journeys of our Inductees into PreK-8 STEM programs, connecting inventors who have built the world around us with the innovators of tomorrow. Each program experience enables participants to develop the I Can Invent Mindset, which will help them navigate their lives and reach their potential.

Yes, the National Inventors Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization. Email us at [email protected] to receive a copy of our 501(c)(3) Determination Letter.

National Inventors Hall of Fame education programs use a scaffolded infrastructure of support to ensure our partners are prepared with the tools and information necessary to implement a positive experience for students, families and educators. 

Our programs consist of inquiry-based, hands-on curricula with step-by-step instruction and curriculum support composed of video tutorials and all student materials. 

Additionally, our regional representatives provide guidance and one-on-one coaching, and they are available to answer questions. 

Our partners also benefit from our unique manufacturing and packaging model. Our vertically integrated manufacturing process makes our programs scalable and seamless nationwide. Our distribution team manages a 67,000-square-foot facility from which we ship all our educational materials, and our quality control team reviews every 10th box for defects and missing items.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame partners with thousands of schools and districts across the country to offer our programs. Whether you’re looking for an in-school, afterschool or summer education program, we can customize a solution that fits your school’s unique needs.

We have a growing network of education partners nationwide. Click here to see if a program is hosted in your community. If you do not see a site near you, contact us and we will be happy to discuss how we might partner with you to provide these hands-on, innovative programs to students in your school or district.

The number of facilitators needed to implement a program varies by program and enrollment number. Contact us so we can review your specific needs and provide setup recommendations.

You can get involved by supporting invention education and acting as an advocate for STEM learning in your school or district. You also might want to consider becoming an Instructor for a program near you. Serving as an Instructor is a great way to interact with your students in a new, yet familiar instructional setting. If there are no programs scheduled nearby, reach out to us  to find out exactly how easy it is to bring one of our engaging, hands-on programs to your school or district.

The length varies by program, implementation model and need. Contact us so we can review your specific needs and provide schedule recommendations.

Schools can choose either our parent-paid tuition model, at no cost to the host school or organization, or provide our program as a school or grant-based service. Pricing will vary based on the length of the program and your specific use case. Every National Inventors Hall of Fame education program includes all materials, resources and customer service support needed for stress-free implementation. Contact a National Inventors Hall of Fame representative for more details concerning pricing and implementation options for your school.

Many schools and districts use their state or federal funds to provide the program to their students. In addition, the National Inventors Hall of Fame partners with corporate and nonprofit foundations, through grants, to provide funding for underserved children to participate in our programs.

Most National Inventors Hall of Fame education programs have been developed and approved for a range of ages and grade levels. Due to the inquiry-based nature of our programs, the students drive their experience and achieve proven results through personalized learning.

National Inventors Hall of Fame education programs are implemented by local qualified educators. Our programs provide educators with hands-on, practical professional development opportunities in inquiry-based and problem-based learning models.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame offers a variety of discounts and scholarship opportunities with the assistance of sponsors nationwide. On average, over half of children attending our programs benefit from scholarship assistance. Additionally, many more students take advantage of various discounts. The specific discounts or scholarships available will vary by program.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame does offer a variety of discounts to help offset the cost of our programs. The specific discount codes and amounts available will vary by program.

Directors and Instructors who participate in Camp Invention and/or Club Invention receive a letter of recognition from the USPTO and a certificate representing applicable CEUs. Acceptance of CEUs is subject to your state or district continuing education requirements.

Yes! We’ve developed our programs with flexibility in mind to ensure our curricula and activities can be adapted for in-school, at-home and blended learning environments. Each program applies best practices to maintain engagement through hands-on challenges that inspire imagination and creative problem solving.

We are committed to making our learning experiences accessible to all students. Each National Inventors Hall of Fame education program provides engaging challenges and hands-on materials that guarantee equitable learning, regardless of access to an internet connection. 

Yes, our cross-cutting programs incorporate a wide variety of subjects through project-based curricula. Our hands-on challenges guide students to confidently move from idea to prototype while making connections with an array of real-world issues.

Yes! The National Inventors Hall of Fame provides everything you need to implement your program, including a step-by-step curriculum guide and all the materials necessary to bring the program to life for your students. Each of our programs also provides innovative teaching strategies and embedded educator support from start to finish.

Each of our programs is designed to ensure simple, flexible, turnkey implementation and provide nationally acclaimed curricula that are easy to follow with step-by-step guides.

All National Inventors Hall of Fame education programs qualify for 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. Our education programs and professional development experiences also can be supported with CARES Act funding, ESSER funding and American Recovery Project Funding.

Camp Invention

During the Camp Invention program, K-6 students are introduced to world-changing inventors while working individually and collaboratively to problem solve, completing hands-on STEM challenges that inspire their imaginations!

A typical Camp Invention program is implemented over five days (usually Monday through Friday) for six and one-half hours each day, plus the option for three to four hours of Extended Day activities to meet the needs of working families. However, Camp Invention schedules and curricula are easily modified to accommodate four-day and half-day schedules if a five-day program is not feasible. The National Inventors Hall of Fame continues to produce new curricula each year, so multiple weeks of programming also are easily accommodated.

The number of Program Team Members needed to implement a program varies by program and enrollment number. 

The Camp Invention program upholds a 1:8 Program Team Member-to-child ratio. Program Team Members include qualified Instructors, parent volunteers, and high school and/or college students.

Extended Day is an option at most Camp Invention programs nationwide. Extended Day was developed as a solution for families who would otherwise be unable to send their children to Camp Invention due to their work schedules. Extended Day runs for 50 hours a week, typically from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Extended Day hours are led by a designated facilitator along with extra morning and afternoon assistants. The National Inventors Hall of Fame provides curricula and materials with a combination of design engineering and downtime activities to allow campers to continue their collaboration and creative thinking.

At Camp Invention, there are two primary roles you might take on: Director or Instructor.

As a Director, you will serve as the liaison between the National Inventors Hall of Fame and your school district. You will work to promote your program during the registration period prior to your camp week, and hire your Program Team Members and volunteers. Additionally, you will attend learning sessions, coordinate site logistics and serve as the main point of contact during the week of your program to ensure a successful experience for everyone involved.

As an Instructor, prior to the program you will facilitate program outreach, awareness and enrollment to help increase STEM exposure and its impact on children in your community. Throughout the week of your program, you will inspire and engage campers through the hands-on, inquiry-based challenges that are part of the curriculum.

Additional roles include Assistant Director, a position that supports the Director; Camp Parent, a volunteer parent position; and Leaders-in-Training and Leadership Intern positions for students interested in developing leadership skills.

Implementing Camp Invention is an easy, four-step process. 

Step 1: Contact us to discuss your school’s or district’s specific needs, so we can develop a plan that is unique to you. A few factors to consider include the number of program hours you require, if you plan to use government funding to implement the program, and if Camp Invention will be presented as a stand-alone experience or as part of a larger summer enrichment program.  

Step 2: Prepare for your program by confirming your program location and dates, selecting a Camp Director and group of Program Team Members (selected by the Director).  

Step 3: Get ready to grow your Camp Invention program by attending free outreach and logistics training sessions from the National Inventors Hall of Fame, giving you access to digital tools and resources including social media content and videos. For parent-paid programs, we open registration for your summer camp online and ship your Director a box full of fun ways to spread the word about your program.  

Step 4: Enjoy your program by relying on your dedicated National Inventors Hall of Fame team to provide assistance at any time. Additionally, the National Inventors Hall of Fame will schedule the delivery of all your program materials and curriculum to ensure a hassle-free experience.  

Nearly two decades ago, Camp Invention began formally measuring its impact. During this time, multiple independent evaluations have confirmed both the short- and long-term benefits of our Camp Invention program.

Club Invention

At Club Invention, students in grades 1-6 will come together during an afterschool program to work in teams as they brainstorm and create ways to solve everyday challenges while enhancing their understanding of STEM concepts.

Club Invention is designed to offer flexible implementation options, such as once daily for a week, or once a week over a span of more than a month. If a five-day program is not feasible, Club Invention schedules and curricula are easily modified to accommodate eight-day schedules of one hour per session. There are currently nine Club Invention modules available, so more than one program can be run throughout the course of a school year.

We primarily use a parent-paid model — meaning families pay the tuition and there is no cost to the host school or organization. If family funding is not an option, all our education programs also qualify for 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.

Instructors will inspire students by leading daily hands-on STEM challenges. Club Invention Instructors will be required to facilitate approximately seven and one-half to eight hours of programming, along with minimal prep time before each program day.

Invention Project

During Invention Project, PreK-8th grade students participate in invention education experiences that enhances their natural inclination to create and innovate. Each of the 32 unique modules provides six to seven hours of hands-on engagement, ranging from exploring the principles of flight in Flight Lab™ to reverse engineering a wireless microphone and pitching their very own invention in Open Mic™. 

Throughout the program, students are introduced to National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees, giving them access to valuable STEM role models and examples of what they too can achieve by embracing an entrepreneurial spirit. Through Invention Project students develop an I CAN INVENT MINDSET – essential skills and traits critical to navigating an ever-changing future.

As our most flexible education program, Invention Project can be implemented as a stand-alone program or incorporated into an existing learning initiative during the summer. Many of our district partners also use Invention Project during the school day. Each module includes comprehensive student resources including step by step activity guides and individually packed materials.

Contact us to bring transformative, hands-on learning to your students.

The duration of the program is entirely customizable and determined by the needs of your district/school. The numbers of hours of engagement needed will determine the number of modules facilitated.

Invention Project qualifies for government education funding sources including ESSER, Title I, Title IV Part A ESOL, ELL, Early Learning Challenge and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

Invention Project is designed to provide educators with a seamless and stress-free teaching experience. The program includes step-by-step curricula aligned to national and state standards, pre-and post-tests to track student progress, curriculum support resources including videos and teaching guides, customized orientation sessions prior to implementation, and a dedicated program team to provide assistance and address any questions to ensure a successful experience for all.