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  Student to Student  Program Updates  Student Activities  TEDx Talks  Instructor Q&A  THINK  | In the News

   Student to Student

Dear Prospective Students,

To me, the Davidson Academy is more than just a school. It is a community of truly unique individuals that one would be hard pressed to encounter elsewhere. They are all, in my experience, not only uncommonly bright, but also exceptionally thoughtful, creative and accepting people who genuinely enjoy learning. This phenomena of excellence is by no means restricted solely to the student body.

The teachers I encountered at the Academy were, and are, without exception, some of the most capable, creative, intellectual and understanding human beings that I have ever met. Yes, I know that many schools may claim such things about their staff, but this goes above and beyond just saying that they are competent. They not only make the acquisition of knowledge both challenging and interesting, but are also extremely approachable, reasonable, and capable of meeting and exceeding the needs and demands of each individual class member, a feat that never ceases to amaze me. Know every student by name? Sometimes I suspect that they’ve even memorized our favorite coffee drinks. To recognize that you are treated not just as a member of the group, but also as an individual, is an experience that not every student has, and one that I am grateful for.

Now with regard to our curriculum and extracurricular activities, I would be hard pressed to do justice to the full plethora of benefits that I have acquired through the Academy, at least without that being its own separate article. However, I can say with confidence that no matter what areas or subject matter one wishes to explore through this institution, the option to pursue those interests will be present. Over the course of my time here I have both attended and participated in the formation of several clubs, with focuses ranging from programming and mechanical engineering to such topics as slam poetry and community aid. I have done everything from advanced calculus to method acting, and even was granted the opportunity to help teach a course of my own design.

Nowhere else will you find a place so supportive, or as willing to do whatever it takes to help students realize their full potential. If you have a passion, I can guarantee you that it will not only be made accessible to you, but that its exploration and development will be encouraged. In short, being a student at the Davidson Academy has been an immensely positive experience for me, and one that I hope you may one day share.

~ Ryan Mann, Fifth Year Davidson Academy Student


   Davidson Academy Program Updates

2015-2016 Application Available

If you think the Davidson Academy of Nevada may be the right fit for you, the application deadline of April 1 for the 2015-2016 school year is fast approaching! Visit the How to Apply page to access the new online application system. 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, such as the SAT or ACT. 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 Tour for Prospective Students

The final tour of the Davidson Academy during the current school year will take place 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, February 27, 2015. Each Academy tour for prospective students and their parents allows visitors to meet current Academy students, parents, faculty and staff, and ask specific questions about the school.

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

   Student Activities

Academy Student Receives Distinction of Eagle Scout

Davidson Academy student Noah Conway recently received the distinction of Eagle Scout. In his speech he shared, “Scouting has offered me many opportunities and experiences that I would not have normally had. I was able to learn horsemanship, metalworking and aviation. I have also learned leadership and communication skills, first aid, and emergency preparedness, all of which have helped me in my everyday life outside of scouting.” Congratulations, Noah!

American Mathematics Contest (AMC)

A number of Davidson Academy students recently participated in the American Mathematics Contest (AMC) and did extremely well! Six out of 12 Academy students earned a score in the top one percent of the nation. Here are the students who earned special distinction from the Mathematical Association of America:
  • 1st place: Ethan Lu – school winner, top one percent score in the nation
  • 1st place: Jason Liu – school winner, top one percent score in the nation
  • 2nd place: Ellie Huh – Top one percent score in the nation, achievement award for students in sixth grade and below
  • 2nd place: Derek Chien –Top one percent score in the nation, achievement award for students in sixth grade and below
  • 2nd place: Nathan McAlister –Top one percent score in the nation
  • 2nd place: Ashwin Murty –Top one percent score in the nation
  • 7th place: Shashank Addagarla – Top five percent score in the nation
  • 10th place: Asher Hansen – Achievement award for students in sixth grade and below

Academy Student Receives Reno Philharmonic Accolades

Academy student Oliver Leitner recently won Grand Prize at the Reno Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (RPYO) Annual Concerto Competition. He will perform Mendelssohn’s violin concerto with the Youth Symphony Orchestra in their spring concert on May 17. Well done!


   TEDx Talks

Academy Alumna Gives Tedx Talk

Davidson Academy Alumna Misha Raffiee recently gave a Tedx talk at the University of Nevada, Reno. Misha spoke about developing and nurturing natural curiosity, impressing the audience with her fantastic public speaking skills! View Misha's Tedx Talk.

Tedx Talks Organized by Academy Students

Davidson Academy students worked diligently last spring to organize a series of Tedx talks with these eclectic speakers:

   Meet Mr. Ripley, Mathematics Instructor

How has flipping the classroom changed the way you teach?
My role, strangely enough, flipped as well. I consider my class to be an open source class. Students have access to all resource materials and need to claim responsibility for their own learning. I work in a tutorial fashion, moving from student to student assessing understanding and assisting when needed. I need to be far less controlling and far more interactive with the students, which has made teaching a great deal more enjoyable. Students are far more energetic, collaborative and productive. The energy was, at first, difficult to get used to because it felt less disciplined, but as the process sorted itself out, the students began doing much of their own classroom management, which again made my job easier.

You are an instructor for the Davidson THINK Summer Institute – will you also flip that classroom? How is it different teaching in such a short period of time compared to having an entire semester?

I have been flipping my THINK courses for the past three years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The mechanics of the course are identical, the students simply acquire more content in the evenings between classes. (Visit for more information on THINK.)

How are you applying classroom flipping to your dissertation?

The question that my dissertation is attempting to answer is whether students who experience a flipped mathematics course perform significantly differently than their peers receiving a traditional, lecture-based mathematics course. My study subjects are sixth grade students and the performance outcome I am using to test for differences is the Math CRT.

Are there any updates from the Davidson Academy math department (clubs, competitions, etc.)?

The Davidson Academy of Nevada offers a wide variety of opportunities to augment students’ mathematics studies. We have a STEM course which is offered as an elective on Fridays, a math club which competes in all of the national math competitions, and a core of students who are taking advanced mathematical classes at the University of Nevada, Reno.

What would you like prospective students to know about studying mathematics at the Davidson Academy?
The Davidson Academy of Nevada mathematics department is dedicated to fostering a love of mathematics. We hope that our students continue with their mathematics long after they have left the Academy. We have high expectations of all of our students, and the mathematics department is no exception. Our students are expected to be competent at both calculation and theory, with an emphasis on process and mathematical communication.


   THINK Summer Institute

The application deadline of April 1 for the 2015 THINK Summer Institute is fast approaching! THINK is a three-week residential summer program on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno where students can earn up to six college credits by completing two university courses. The 2015 THINK Summer Institute will run from July 11 through Aug. 1. Tuition is $3,400 and covers course credits, books and materials, room and board and the cost of planned activities. Need-based scholarships are available. To qualify, students from across the country must be 13 to 16 years old during THINK and must meet or exceed composite SAT score of 1130 (excludes writing portion) or ACT score of 26. Homeschooled students are eligible to apply. Apply today!

   In the News

A member of the FIRST Young Robotic Engineers (FYRE Team), Davidson Academy student Connor Novak was featured in the KOLO 8 News feature, Local High School Students To Compete in Robot Competition. The group is attempting to build a robot that can compete at the upcoming FIRST Robotics Competition Regionals in Las Vegas.


“At the Academy, there is a place for every student, young or old, no matter their interests. We have students creating musical languages, working with lasers and debating like pros. Whatever your interest, no matter how esoteric, you are sure to find someone who can relate. Even if you aren’t sure what your passion is, there is still a place for you to discover it.”

Lillian Chien, Davidson Academy Graduate (pictured, left)


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