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National Inventors Hall of Fame

Put the Power to Invent in Her Hands — A New Campaign from the National Inventors Hall of Fame

In NIHF’s “Put the Power to Invent in Her Hands” campaign, the goal is to guide girls to build confidence in their own power to invent, problem solve and persevere, creating a more equitable and innovative world in the process. To do its part to achieve this goal, NIHF seeks “50-50 by 2020” — an even gender balance in its Camp Invention® program registrations by the summer of 2020.

And recent studies show there is much more work to do to close the innovation gender gap:

“We must work actively to dispel the myth of the lone, genius male scientist/entrepreneur,” said Dr. Arlyne Simon, a biochemical engineer, inventor and author. “In the real world, innovation is a team sport. To solve complex problems like climate change and ‘big data’ management, we need teams rich in thought diversity. Simply put, gender diversity increases thought diversity.”

To accelerate progress to close this gap, NIHF’s new initiative is designed to introduce more girls to the invention process, encourage their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, and help them unlock their potential, said Jayme Cellitioci, NIHF creativity and innovation strategist.

“For young girls who have had limited access and exposure to invention, we want to help them transition from choosing outfits for their dolls to discovering how to power up their dollhouse,” she explained.

“To become a chemist, you must mix your first ingredients; to become an architect, you must build your first model; to become an environmental scientist, you must first run through the woods; and to become an innovator, you must first have the opportunity to invent,” Cellitioci said. “If we want our girls to know the value of their ideas and their power to change the world, they need to be in the spaces and places where these values are echoed, and they can hold the tools in their hands.”

And innovation- and STEM-based camps such as Camp Invention are a vital way to introduce our female youth to innovators, and careers they can relate to and see themselves in, Cellitioci said.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame is proud that its own representation of girls attending the Camp Invention program (42.4 percent) is on the rise, with 5,000 additional girls registering for camp in 2018. In addition, NIHF is a 65-percent female-employee organization, and it looks forward to the new initiative resulting in more girls gaining access to innovation — further helping to close the innovation gender gap.

“With women comprising half of the world’s population, we need to be raising empowered girls who are ready to design and shape a balanced future,” Cellitioci said. “We cannot underestimate the power of exposure and access to invention and innovation education early and often.”

The time to start is now. More information on the “Put the Power to Invent in Her Hands” campaign is available at

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