Who We Are

STEAM Discovery Academy is open to all Charlottesville area students age six and up. All academies are staffed with educators, professionals and university scholars committed to inspiring young minds.

At STEAM Discovery Academy students learn to think on their feet, evaluate challenges, and experiment their way to solutions. We cultivate a passion for all aspects of STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math and integrate leadership skill development including communication, teamwork, and goal setting to build resilience and self-confidence.

Students collaborate, apply critical thinking, problem-solve creatively, and test their way to innovative solutions. They learn key concepts, explore new perspectives, and discover real-world applications for innovative ideas. STEAM immerses students in the world of professional scientists, artist, and leaders while providing career exposure. Concepts and challenges are presented by combining education and entertainment, allowing students to grow while having fun.

Our sports programs aim to not only excite and train skills but incorporate knowledge pertaining to the science of the sport. In addition, optional courses enhance the athletic experience.

We are proud to be supported by many educators because we integrate phenomenon-based learning with project-based learning.

Our courses aim to have students:

  • Improve critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities
  • Engage in experiments and project based learning
  • Build key leadership skills including resilience and self-confidence
  • Develop a well-rounded passion for their sport
  • Experience what it is like to be a leader, scientist, artist, or athlete
  • Identify that science, art, and sports are COOL


STEAM Discovery Academy programs are open to all students and currently take place Charlottesville Catholic School’s state-of-the-art STEAM wing and at The Covenant School's Birdwood and Hickory campuses. Indoor air-conditioned facilities provide a comfortable, secure, and weatherproof environment for young minds to blossom.

Meet Our Team

Our Director in in Alaska

Academic Director - Michael Bruscia

Mike Bruscia has over 20 years of experience in education, focusing primarily on science education through travel and adventure programs. He has developed science curriculum for students from elementary through college, taught students of all ages and conducted research on cats, birds, and polar bears in the wild. He is passionate about making science accessible to all learners and is known for his edu-tainment approach. His philosophy of “Knowledge plus Caring equals Action” has inspired hundreds of students from across the world to explore and enjoy the sciences. Mike holds a BS degree in wildlife ecology and conservation from the University of Florida at Gainesville. Go Gators!

Executive Director - Lisel Bruscia

Lisel Bruscia has over 16 years in educational programming and serves as the Executive Director, focusing on the day-to-day operations and Girls Leadership programming. Since 2003, she held a number of pivotal roles at WorldStrides, from leading an on-tour operations, to developing special programs for elite students around the world, to partnering with the Smithsonian Institution for STEM focused international programs. Most recently, Lisel was Associate Vice President of the Global Academics and Operations for Higher Ed with WorldStrides. In this role, she oversaw the support of our university clients with all aspects of their educational travel, from academic content to the program’s logistical needs. Lisel holds a BA from Wake Forest University.

Students Eager to Answer Question


STEAM Discovery Academy employs educators, professionals and university scholars with a passion for inspiring young minds.