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STEM-Based Private School Plans Reston Opening

by Karen Goff April 29, 2015 at 9:10 am 10 Comments

Rendering of Ideaventions Academy common area/Credit: Ideaventions

Reston is getting a new private school where the focus will be on science, technology engineering and math (STEM).

Ideaventions Academy for Mathematics and Science, opening this fall, will serve students in grades 4 through 8. Its founders say it is a the only elementary/middle school in the country to require computer science as part of its core curriculum.

The school plans to break ground on its new location at 12340 Pinecrest Rd. on May 18.

Ideaventions founders are Juliana and Ryan Heitz, area residents and graduates of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. They said they had an unsuccessful search to find a science enrichment class for their son, so they created their own teaching science center and started Ideaventions as an extracurricular and homeschool science program in 2010.

“At Ideaventions, our mission is to empower young minds to understand and improve the world,” Heitz says in his welcome letter on the school’s website. “The Academy is geared to active learners with a passion for the sciences and mathematics. Inspired by the educational ideals of Thomas Jefferson, the Academy will encourage independent thinking by nurturing the inventive, quirky, and fearless spirits of its students.”

Ideaventions, which will cost $24,500 annually, says it will combine hands-on, project-based learning with classical education, while providing a collegial environment where students help design their schedule.

Among the planned courses: computer science, cellular biology, computational design, iOS and Android app development, engineering; arts, music, humanities, foreign languages and physical education.

Another new Reston school, School For Tomorrow, also plans to open in Fall 2015.

Rendering of Ideaventions Academy common area/Credit: Ideaventions

  • Ming the Merciless

    Good news for the Asian students who will someday attend TJ, I guess.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    One year of tuition costs more than I paid for the car that I currently drive.

    • Richard

      Or another way to look at it is that at about $13,500 per student, Fairfax County invests about half of what’s necessary for a high-quality education for children.

      • Ming the Merciless

        Or another way to look at it is if you took the kids who will go to this school and put them into FCPS instead they’d undoubtedly do just as well in life for less than half the price. Therefore the FCPS “investment” is just right and the private school “investment” is excessive.

        Or another way to look at it is that this school is very cheap compared to other private schools in the area.

        • Richard

          Perhaps by sending the kids to the increasingly-crummy FCPS, they would make outstanding internet trolls. How proud you would be.

          • Ming the Merciless

            If attending FCPS made them able and willing to point out obvious truths, I would indeed be proud.

            And what is the evidence of that increasing crumminess, exactly?

        • Chuck Morningwood

          And future kids will benefit from the taxes I am currently paying for improvements for schools throughout the county. What’s your point?

          More importantly, their construction costs are an ancilliary consideration in any my comparison. Quite frankly, I don’t care how they apportion their costs. I only care about the VALUE — services recieved for the price — of the education.

          In any case, I can’t afford to send the kids there anyway, since that would consume virtually all of my post-tax income.

          • Ming the Merciless

            The point, in this discussion, is that Ideavention doesn’t have any of those subsidies. That’s why they have to cost more than FCPS. Which has to affect your calculation of the VALUE of Ideavention.

    • Noelle

      My son’s public school is pretty good (no major complaints), but I do like that this school has such a strong focus on STEM. However, at $24K I cannot afford to send him there either.

  • eileenminarik

    Ideaventions Academy will offer through 7th grade in September and continue to add grades after that. Juliana and Ryan Heitz are dedicated to creating an environment that is stimulating and challenging for children who have an interest in or a passion for the sciences.


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