STEM Education

Since the first day of classes in September 1984, STEM has been part of The Nysmith School core curriculum.

Our students have always had daily, hands-on science classes and daily computer classes.  Our math teachers have always focused on practical problem-solving and the critical thinking that is the foundation of engineering.  Our diversified math program allows us to find the best group for each student to maximize challenge while minimizing repetition and competition.

Here are just a few facts about our exceptional STEM program; for more information, please see the detailed subject tabs in the Curriculum section.

Nysmith teaches math up to four grade levels above the student’s grade level.

  • Very few schools offer this type of differentiation, which is vital to nurturing the gifted child.
  • Math is the heart of STEM studies.
  • Students receive a full hour of math instruction each day.
  • The keys to a bright math future are skills, confidence, and a passion for the subject.
  • Math placement is fluid; Nysmith teachers invest considerable time and effort to place all students where they will be both challenged and successful.

Students enjoy 3.75 hours of fun, hands-on science every week.

  • At The Nysmith School, science is treated as exploration.
  • We present advanced content and concepts in ways that are appropriate for each student’s age and attainment level.
  • Labs and experiments help students make the connection between key scientific concepts and the world around them.
  • Teachers reflect on unexpected results and encourage probing questions.

We offer 2.5 hours of computer technology instruction each week.

  • The program is a sequential course of study that moves students through the Microsoft Office suite in the lower grades into programming and robotics in the upper grades.
  • Projects often relate to science or other academic classes.
  • Teachers introduce a wide variety of programs and projects so students learn to present their ideas in multiple ways.
  • Students go far beyond using computer platforms as tools; we help them learn the logic of programming and improve their problem-solving skills.

The Nysmith School also participates in the USA Science and Engineering Festival and hosts the Washington Executive Council’s annual K-12 STEM Symposium to enrich our students’ education and help advance the STEM agenda nationwide.