Ken Nysmith, Nysmith School

One of the best schools – in the world – has something big planned. And it’s right around the corner.
In recent years, the Herndon, Va.-based Nysmith School for the Gifted has been named one of the Top 10 Schools in the World by John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Against that backdrop, the school, which spans pre-K through eighth grade, is set to host the 4th annual Stem Symposium – a yearly gathering of industry experts, educators and students all sharing their passion for all things related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Ken Nysmith, the school’s headmaster, couldn’t be more excited.
“The STEM Symposium is a wonderful opportunity for information and fun,” says Nysmith, whose mother, Carole, founded the school back in 1983. Eight years ago, she handed the reins over to her son, Ken, who, in turn, is keeping the school’s focus on fun, collaborative learning alive through daily science labs, foreign language classes and a sequential technology program, among other efforts.
Then, four years ago, the school kicked-off the very first STEM Symposium – the brainchild of WashingtonExec founder JD Kathuria. He presented the idea for a full-day of learning and STEM exploration that could take center stage, over the course of one full day, at Nysmith – a sprawling campus, set on 13 acres, that’s home to 5 science labs, two gyms, 48 classrooms – and a whole lot of brain power.
“The reason that the idea of the STEM Symposium resonated with us is that we love science and technology,” says Nysmith, whose students regularly place in the top 1 percent nationwide in national tests for math, language and reading. “We’ve been charting that ground for 32 years of daily science integrated into our curriculum.”
As Nysmith sees it, the sooner parents and educators share STEM with a child, the better. “The reality is that so many schools don’t introduce the love of science, technology and math until much, much later,” says Nysmith.
That’s where the STEM Symposium comes in, he adds. “With all the literature coming out about the need for American children to be interested in science, technology, engineering and math, the STEM Symposium was a natural fit for Nysmith.”
The coming STEM Symposium, titled “Explore Careers in STEM,” will showcase dozens of hands-on projects, including UAVs, flight simulators, smallsats/drones, heart monitors, 3D printers, robotics and connected cars – all in between speaking panels that will include Aaditya Singh, a Nysmith alum who’s now a rising Massachusetts Institute of Technology freshman attending TJHSST.
The best part: Your child doesn’t need to be a Nysmith student to attend the STEM Symposium. In fact, says Nysmith, the vast majority of the 3,500 children, parents, teachers and business leaders who attend each year have no immediate connection to the school.
“The STEM Symposium is really geared toward families that are outside of Nysmith – who don’t have this kind of exposure on a daily basis,” says Nysmith, whose school has over 550 students (and counting). “There will be a lot of information, given out at the event, on STEM activities that children can participate in during the summer or through after-school programs – all totally unassociated with Nysmith.”
The one thing you do have to do is show up. Ken Nysmith will be there. “I wouldn’t miss it,” he says. Join the fun – register for free.