The wide range of activities and experiences offered at STEAM Discovery Academy empower your child to get out of their comfort zone and learn something new. Our educators and engaging activities means everyone gets the chance to exercise their brains and their bodies. Browse our site or contact us to find out more about what we offer.
Who We Are
Committed to Inspiring Students
A Family Business
STEAM Discovery Academy is a small family business, founded by Michael Bruscia in 2016 after over twenty years in science education.
We chose STEAM because we believe creativity and design thinking are gained through including Art in STEM education.
As parents, we aim to make STEAM accessible to all families while providing students the opportunity to develop a love of science, creativity, and leadership skills, like resilience and courage.
Our mission is to inspire the next generation of STEAM professionals, through engaging and educational opportunities!
Academic Director, Founder
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 currently teaches middle schools science.
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, Co-Owner
Lisel Bruscia has over 17 years in educational programming. Lisel serves as the Executive Director, focusing on family support, day-to-day operations, and Girls Leadership programming.
Prior to STEAM, 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.
Educator & Curriculum Development
Becky Piliposwkyj brings six years teaching experience in public and private schools to STEAM Discovery Academy. After initially focusing on literacy, particularly supporting students needing extra assistance, she’s worked as a lead elementary teacher for multiple grades for literacy, math, and science. As a STEAM educator for three years, she’s taught multiple courses including Creative Writing, Girls and Engineering, and Intro to STEAM. This year, she co-designed and implemented highly successful girl’s leadership programs designed to build confidence, bravery, and resilience. Based on the success of Girls Leadership and Girls Impact, STEAM is now offering Lead with STEAM to all students.
Becky is passionate about helping students realize they have a something special to offer. It may be that they are a fantastic writer, or mathematician, or artist, or that their compassion for others makes them the most special friend. Whatever their gift, she wants them to know that WE, their peers and herself, will help them find it and grow. She continues to find new opportunities for inspiring students by asking questions and seeking out the “experts” in the school, community, and leaders in their subject areas from prior experiences.
Becky holds a BA Elementary Education and an MA Special Education, Learning Disabilities from American University
Devon McCade has over 7 years of childcare experience. She has taught in various settings from being an at home and on site tutor to public and private schools to STEAM Discovery Academy. Devon has focused on literacy and social studies with upper elementary grades but she has a passion for math and science. Having cross curricular experiences that help her students realize that all subjects are related is something she strives to achieve in her classroom. Devon facilitated Girls and Engineering and supported Mad Science Chemistry in past years at STEAM Discovery Academy.
Devon is passionate about helping students realize they have just as much to learn from themselves and their peers as they do from the facilitators. Her favorite part about Girls and Engineering is the focus on the design cycle because it exemplifies the idea that failure is necessary for success. This goes along with her teaching philosophy that students shouldn't be afraid to fail and make mistakes because perseverance develops character and leads to the best experiences and inventions. She is excited to come back to STEAM Discovery Academy this summer to see the excitement and innovation that each child has and the collaboration and team work that is built by the end of each week.
Devon holds a MA in Elementary Education from James Madison University.
Matias is a trained programmer with a B.S. in. Computer Science from Penn State University. He is the Director of IT at Charlottesville Catholic School.
An avid learner, Matias stays current on technology changes by constantly exploring new tools, reading, and engaging in industry forum.
Matias is passionate about helping students learn, but also apply their new found knowledge through exploratory learning.
An accomplished programmer, Matias spends his free time mastering Super Smash Bros.