At the National Inventors
Hall of Fame® (NIHF),

we have learned the value of perseverance from the innovators and educators who demonstrate it every day. In 2020, we applied all we have learned to helping the next generation of innovators to not only persist but to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

demanded resiliency from us all.

Though NIHF had been poised for a record year, 2020 brought myriad challenges and required new and creative solutions.

Our team turned challenges into opportunities, strengthening our resolve to carry our mission into the future.

As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted children’s access to education,

by developing creative solutions that prioritized equity and accessibility.

The NIHF team devoted 1,800 hours to in-person and at-home testing of new products and programs including

Camp Invention Connect™
reinvented summer camp with an at-home program, providing children with the proven benefits of
Camp Invention®

through tested, hands-on activities and virtual collaboration with friends and certified educators for an equitable experience.

We reached children through both Camp Invention Connect and in-person Camp Invention programs,

which were tested to keep children collaborating while socially distanced in alignment with CDC guidelines.

More than 1,600 schools and districts nationwide, including Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, partnered with us to offer hands-on STEM exploration, teamwork and fun.

4,000 teachers and Program Team Members helped young innovators engage in open-ended exploration and build critical-thinking skills.

More than 101,000 children were empowered by our programming, including more than 73,000 underserved and underrepresented children.

“Camp Invention Connect did not disappoint! This renowned program that is sought after every summer by our students rose to the occasion when they needed to adapt to a virtual environment. It was an honor to facilitate student learning with such high-quality materials and lesson plans.”

— Jennifer S., Camp Invention Connect Coach

“I cannot tell you how we appreciate my daughter's participation with Camp Invention Connect. These have been difficult times for her with being separated from her friends. However, Camp Invention Connect was the perfect bridge to keep her engaged in science and connecting her to other children.”

— Patricia P., Parent

“Camp Invention Connect gave my son a challenging and fun way to get his mind off the current pandemic. He loves math and science, so he was so excited that he was able to participate in Camp Invention with his scholarship.”

— Lily T., Parent

“This was different from our online school because we got to talk to other kids, and I didn't have to just figure things out on my own. It was nice to be led by someone who helped me understand it. There were so many activities and they were really fun. Camp Invention Connect is so cool, it's my most favorite thing to do in the summer. We get to be with friends and that's all I want right now. It's really special to me.”

— Lydia F., Participant

“Our Camp Invention Connect experience was great! My son enjoyed everything, even opening the boxes to see what was inside. The materials and instructions made it easy and fun for him to create and design. My son is the only child at home, so for him to be able to connect online with other kids, collaborate, help each other, and just talk to people his age was something he has been missing not being able to go to school.”

— Amanda F., Parent

“It's important to be with friends, so it was so nice to have that in this new way - it was my favorite part, collaborating with others. Camp Invention Connect makes me feel so great, I would love to do it again all the time. Opening the box felt like a gift.”

— Lincoln F., Participant

“Thanks so much for the opportunity for my child to attend with a scholarship. She had a great time, and we would not have been able to afford to do something like this. She is more interested in building and taking things apart now. Amazing camp!”

— Kari M., Parent

“My daughter and son loved completing the Camp Invention Connect activities and engaging with the other children and Instructor online. As a parent, it was wonderful to see the innovative mindset that the experience has cultivated in my children. Weeks later, they are still busy making, building and bringing their ideas to life!”

— Jennifer S., Parent

“I want to share with you how impressed I was with Camp Invention going virtual last year. The way you were able to make the transition so smooth was amazing. I was able to adapt to it super-fast and with no hesitation. The organization of the videos and script was perfect. You made me feel confident in what I was doing! Thank you for making this another amazing experience for my district!”

— Sasha C., Camp Invention Connect Coach

Innovation Exploration Kits™
delivered hands-on STEM activities directly to children’s homes for self-led, year-round learning.

We created four unique series of kits with fun, imaginative challenges for grades K-9 and provided a total of 33,000 kits to children across the country.

“We are in a remote part of Alaska. It was wonderful to have the kit arrive with everything we needed. This is vital due to our location. We loved the activity kit! Given learning has to be at home this summer, the kit experience ticked all of the boxes. It was exciting to have it shipped to my child, the videos and activities were exciting and engaging, and my daughter could not wait for the next time we pulled the kit out to keep exploring.”

— Jane T., Parent

“We really enjoyed these and my kiddo was so excited to start using them. He's been playing with the robots every day and redecorates them often. He got the hang of programming his green robot fast, and he took apart his robot dog and put it back together. Really fun kits for kids of a wide variety of ages.

— Valerie R., Parent

“My three granddaughters spent hours on some of the activities, so we still had things to do on another day. The robot was a great hit too. We liked the kits we got so much that I have purchased more kits to use this fall while one of my granddaughters attends school virtually.”

— Grandparent

“We loved the kits! The education was amazing, and we could take it to a different level depending on my child's age. I can't recommend it enough!”

— Parent

“I bought several of these kits and gave them to kids stuck indoors. ALL of them loved the kits and got more kids involved. Great success!”

— Parent

Invention Project® K-6
introduced a crosscutting school year curriculum for in-person, at-home and blended settings.

We reached 3,700 students through 277 programs, with a curriculum that was designed to align with standards, promote hands-on STEAM exploration and support social-emotional learning.

“The curriculum is incredible! The kids absolutely love it! We just finished our clay video game controller and the kids made a marketing video instead of presenting to the class. Then we did a round robin where everyone could watch each video. Too cool! These lessons are amazing and the kids just take off with the ideas! I am so thankful for this program. It feels like STEM but with easy alterations to individualize my classes. Some part of each lesson reaches all of my students!”

— Stacy S., Educator

“The activities and the skills that students learn at Invention Project really transfer to the outside world. They're encouraged to come up with ideas, brainstorm, hypothesize and make mistakes — it's all part of the learning process!

— Tania G., Educator

“Invention Project K-6 has been a highlight of our school year! My gifted second graders have developed creativity, innovation and problem-solving skills through [these] experiences. The curriculum and materials provided give me the opportunity to sit back and watch my students flourish as they approach new challenges each week. I definitely plan to provide this opportunity to my students for years to come.

— Kendall B., Educator

Club Invention® At Home
provided an engaging solution for districts in need of virtual afterschool programming.

We reached 2,600 children through 99 programs offering purposeful, hands-on exploration incorporating a range of subject areas.

“Club Invention At Home has given my child more self-confidence and creativity. It has also helped him to work with others.

— Club Invention At Home Parent

“Club Invention provided my daughter with an educational yet FUN opportunity to learn new things, challenge herself and see her peers during these trying times. Thank you so much for the opportunity!”

— Club Invention At Home Parent

“My daughter didn't seem thrilled about school most days, even though she does well. However, on Club Invention days, she was her happiest. She really enjoyed the projects, worked on them even after Club Invention had ended for the day, and looked forward to subsequent sessions.”

— Club Invention At Home Parent

“Club Invention was terrific! It was a joy to see the children use critical thinking, self-determination and autonomy to come up with such great inventions.”

— Club Invention At Home Parent

“My kids were engaged in something creative during a time when they were getting extremely bored due to not being able to be with friends or at school. Thank you for doing this and making this available at home.

— Club Invention At Home Parent

We are proud to say that in 2020, we developed more new products than ever before.

We also improved our methods to support neurodiverse learners and made our programs more accessible for children of all communities, abilities and learning styles.

Each time NIHF reached a child in 2020, our impact was made possible by our partners, sponsors and donors, and inspired by the lessons of our NIHF Inductees.

to honoring world-changing inventors who have shown us that any obstacle can be overcome through creativity, teamwork and determination.

When the pandemic prevented NIHF from holding an Induction Ceremony in 2020, we took this opportunity to prepare for our next event.

We held our 2021 selection cycle and expanded our latest Inductee class to include even more world-changing inventors

We will see our NIHF family grow to more than 600 Inductees when our next class is Inducted

Our Inductees played an integral role in shaping the year’s education programs.

80 Inductees were featured in our Camp Invention curriculum.

3 Inductees visited Camp Invention virtually and wrote personalized letters to the winners of our Women’s History Month promotion.

the NIHF Museum and created a new way to shop our museum store.

We added signs and updated the store layout to allow for a better customer experience and more merchandise.

We launched our e-commerce store and began offering items including our new Innovation Exploration Kits.

While the NIHF Museum has been closed since early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic,

we are eager to reopen our doors and invite the public to safely explore our National Monument to Innovation®.

emerging inventors at our 30th Collegiate Inventors Competition® (CIC).

CIC was held in a virtual format for the first time, for the health and safety of our Finalists and Judges.

Finalists included 24 students from nine colleges and universities nationwide.

They shared their inventions with seven NIHF Inductee Judges.

7,903 votes were cast for the Arrow Electronics People’s Choice Award.

And the winners were…

First-Place Winners




Universally Friendly Obturator (UFO)





Dyad Syringe

Arrow Electronics

People's Choice Award Winner:


With the help of our sponsors, to date, we have awarded more than $1 million to CIC Winners.

among young innovators across the country by partnering with inventors, educators, sponsors and donors to provide inspiring and immersive experiences.

More than ever before, the generosity of our sponsors and donors was essential to helping us share stories of ingenuity and perseverance and guide children to overcome the obstacles and uncertainty of 2020.

Along with the vital contributions of our supporters, we relied on the guidance and insight of our Board of Directors.

Click Here to See Our Leadership Team

Details behind all our work can be found in our 2020 financial report.

Click Here for Financial Details

To all who have made it possible for our work to continue,

With your ongoing support, we will carry forward all we’ve learned, working with a renewed sense of purpose toward a more hopeful, equitable and innovative future.

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