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  Student to Student  Program Updates  Student Activities  | Graduation Ceremony  |  In the News

   Student to Student

To Prospective Students -

Congratulations! In finding the Davidson Academy, you’ve discovered a place where bright and motivated students congregate to exchange ideas and investigate their world. If you’ve read the preceding prospective student letters, you know that the Academy is an academic powerhouse. But the Academy isn’t the only place where bright students find great ideas. I’m sure you’re coming from some such place, and I’m sure you’ll find others during your educational career. That said, I firmly believe that for many of you, the Academy is without a doubt your best choice. I’m talking to those of you who are passionate about things beyond the norm or the traditional. Those of you who may be math experts, but who also love music, or painting, or puppetry, or really anything else. Unlike many other schools (top schools, I’m sure) that you may be considering, the Academy isn’t a place driven by grades or prestige. Instead, the students strive to learn and to question, and their grades follow naturally.

In my experience, Davidson is driven by passion. It might be incredibly clichéd, but that’s only because it’s true: learning what you want to learn is by far the most important aspect of your education, and if you put in the work, the Davidson Academy will make that happen. Davidson is probably the only school I’ve ever attended where I truly felt I could effect change. And I have! When I first came to the Academy three years ago, I found that the students didn’t have the variety of music classes and performance opportunities that they deserved. Soon, I found others who felt the same way and two years later the Academy had semi-monthly concerts and two separate music classes (one of which we taught ourselves). It had truly become a musical community, and in the process I had made friends that I will never forget. When you come to the Academy, odds are it won’t be perfect; no place is. But here, you’ll find a community of dedicated, hardworking and really stubborn people who are willing to do everything they can to make it perfect. And I would be willing to bet that soon, you’ll be making a change of your own.

There’s a kind of student who studies what they’re told to, memorizes prevailing opinions on the most popular subjects and simply repeats them in the hopes of a good grade. The Academy isn’t like that. It’s boldly, brashly not like that. The Academy has the kind of student who finds their own curriculum, their own perspective, and who makes their own experience. And odds are, if you’ve read this far, we’d be happy to have you.

~ Harry Fosbinder-Elkins, Fourth Year Davidson Academy Student


   Davidson Academy Program Updates

2016-2017 Application Now Available

The Davidson Academy of Nevada application for the 2016-2017 school year is now available! Visit the How to Apply page to access the online application system. If you are looking for an environment to better fit your social and academic needs, the Davidson Academy may be the place for you!

The Academy is specifically designed to meet the needs of profoundly gifted middle and high school students who score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ or college entrance tests. Please review the Qualification Criteria page of our website as these scores are mandatory for student eligibility. On the Application Review Process page, you will find detailed information about the on-site assessment.

Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students

At the Davidson Academy tours, prospective students and their parents meet current Academy students, parents, faculty and staff, and ask specific questions about the school.

Upcoming school tours will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the following Fridays:
  • Sept. 18, 2015
  • Oct. 23, 2015
  • Nov. 20, 2015
  • Dec. 11, 2015
  • Jan. 29, 2016
  • Feb. 19, 2016
For details, including directions to the Davidson Academy and RSVP information, please visit the Tours page. If you would like more information, please contact us at

Admissions Information Session

The Davidson Academy will be hosting an Admissions Information Session to present and answer questions about the application and admissions process for the 2016-2017 school year. This event will be held at the Academy campus on Wed., Sept. 9, 2015 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This event is open to the public. Parking in the Academy Lot is on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking is also available at the Brian J. Whalen Parking Structure just north of the Academy. Please contact for more information. No RSVP is required for this event.

   Student Activities

A number of Davidson Academy students stayed busy this summer, participating in a number of diverse endeavors. They describe their experiences below.

Haydn Bradstreet: Research Science Institute (RSI)

This summer, I was fortunate enough to attend the Research Science Institute (RSI) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Within it, students have a myriad of opportunities to learn. The first week consists of classes in all areas of math and science, and after that, students embark on a four-and-a-half week research project in their area of interest, culminating in a scientific paper and symposium-style presentation. I worked in a molecular biology lab within the Boston University Medical Center. My project entitled "Investigating Autoimmunity: A Visualization of Polarity and Junctional Proteins in Sjögren's Syndrome" involved the complex, yet common autoimmune disease Sjögren's Syndrome and how dysfunctional proteins could affect it. At times, the research was grueling and frustrating, but seeing my hard work pay off with a tangible paper and a wealth of new knowledge made all the intense work worth it. The program also hosts a number of inspiring and accomplished guest speakers - including two Nobel laureates! I found the nighttime lectures to be engaging and thought-provoking, and they enlightened me to the incredibly exciting things that are happening on the frontiers of scientific and technological research today.

Aside from the academic experience, the program brings together a community of talented, passionate, and incredibly intelligent individuals (not unlike the Academy) who forced me to challenge myself and showed me a host of new perspectives. Our conversations spanned a wide range of topics, from the efficiencies of scholarly article databases and how to improve researchers' ability to find prior knowledge, to the startling frequency of Dunkin' Donuts restaurants on the East Coast. The social aspect of RSI was fun and sometimes eclectic, but at the same time, gave me the chance to bond with an incredible group of people. The experience, overall, is one that I can say is truly one of the most challenging and formative of my 17-year-old life.

Forrest Karo: Smallwood Multimedia Bootcamp

The Smallwood Multimedia Bootcamp gave me the chance to really put my filmmaking and editing skills to the test, while giving me the opportunity to meet some wonderfully talented, like-minded students from around the Reno area. We were able to take full advantage of the impressive facilities and faculty of the University of Nevada, Reno campus, and at the end of two weeks we all left with tons of knowledge, hands-on experience, and work to add to our portfolios. Check out my final video project, What Smallwood Multimedia Bootcamp Means To Us.

Giselle Serate: Girls Who Code

This summer, I attended the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program at the Intel Headquarters in Silicon Valley. For seven weeks, we were exposed to various aspects of technology, from the culture of a company to useful technical skills. We ended with a final project, which we planned, designed and built in a little over a week.

I learned a lot of coding skills; I now have experience in eight languages, including Python, HTML, CSS, Javascript and jQuery. I applied to the program because I wanted to get experience coding in a safe, but challenging collaborative environment before I decided to pursue computer science seriously. I improved so much as technical skills go, but the people I got to know along the way were even more important. And it's not only limited to my teachers and the other students. I met a lot of influential people who do amazing things, and they've really shown me the diverse potential of computer science and the many things that I can do with it. I'm now even more convinced that computer science is what I will pursue in college. I can now definitely say that it has been one of the best summers of my life. It was so much more than I expected. Giselle is pictured at right with Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani.



   Graduation Ceremony

Twenty-six Davidson Academy students celebrated their graduation at the ceremony in May. Read the press release.



   In the News

Davidson AcademyBased on the recently released book, The Boy Who Played with Fusion: Extreme Science, Extreme Parenting, and How to Make a Star, Davidson Academy alum Taylor Wilson was featured in the National Geographic article, "Why This 14-Year-Old Kid Built a Nuclear Reactor". The article describes Taylor's childhood and how his parents nurtured his exceptional interest in science. The Davidson Academy is also spotlighted, describing how the school is personalized to specifically meet the needs of profoundly gifted students.

“One of the things that truly sets the Academy apart from other schools is that it really serves as a catalyst for its students' college paths, careers and futures . . . the Academy offers something much more meaningful - an environment that not only nurtures and encourages intellectual curiosity, but provides the resources to delve into those interests and turn them into a passion.”

Juliana Bogert, Davidson Academy Graduate


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