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What we’re about

Virtuosity360 is a non-profit LEARNING and MAKING space located in the East Village of New York City. We help our students unlock their potential by stimulating and nourishing their cognitive aptitudes, their creative talents, and their sense of connectedness to the global community. Our big-picture approach to scholastic development incorporates creating, crafting and collaborating into our core academic skills building curriculum. Our programs are designed to inspire students from grades 6 to 12 to explore the horizons of their passions, their abilities, and their gifts as well as to deepen their awareness of the role they play as responsible innovators in society writ large. Not only do we aid our members to excel academically, we inspire them to advance their intellectual, aesthetic, and social excellences as a whole.

STEP ONE: Core Mathematical, Analytical, and Verbal Skills Assessment and Personal Path Evaluation

All of our incoming students receive a comprehensive diagnostic assessment of their core mathematical, analytical, and verbal proficiencies as well as a holistic path evaluation, which aims to identify their creative passions, personal interests, and unique talents. This series of initial testing allows us to gain a better sense of each of our participants as a whole person and to begin thinking about optimal paths to their academic success and personal self-actualization. Qualifying students are invited to join our Accelerated Program for Gifted Youth (APROGY).

STEP TWO: We Craft an Individualized Development and Enrichment Plan

Once we have completed the initial assessment process, our team collaborates to compose a personalized learning and development strategy. Starting from their imaginative strengths and passions, we integrate our students’ creative interests into their particular curricular plans of study. By treating each member as a unique ensemble of interests, gifts, and capabilities, we are able to sculpt paths of academic support and enrichment that pay proper attention to his or her motivational basis and higher-order self-realization needs.

STEP THREE: We Establish a Learning, Mentoring, and Making Schedule

After finishing the Development and Enrichment Plan, we sit down with our new students and their parents to discuss the results and to structure their participation in our program. Through our unique online interactive platform, myvirtuosity.net, we are able to coordinate scheduling, establish realtime updates of student progress, and allow each student to work on their skill-building exercises and maker-projects from home.

STEP FOUR: Start Cultivating, Collaborating, and Creating!

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Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself.

John Dewey
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How we do it

Our standard learning and making sessions last for one hour and forty-five minutes. At the start of the sessions, students receive ongoing design and problem solving "maker-challenges" that engage their creative talents and concerns. During a normal session, work done on developing core math, critical reasoning, and writing skills is framed by these challenges, and, by tying them to curricular exercises, we give our students strong incentives to improve core intellectual abilities while pursuing impassioned involvements in creative and collaborative processes. What unifies all such maker-challenges is the encouragement of critical and resourceful thinking through the active engagement of each student both with the parameters of his or her concrete environment and with other colleagues. Students are called upon constantly to think out-of the-box in creating and building and to form socio-emotional bonds in working cooperatively with each other.

Think and Design Time

At the beginning of each session, students spend twenty minutes brainstorming ways to accomplish a critical thinking/maker-challenge we put to them. Our maker-challenges are carefully curated both to stimulate the creative passions of our students and to educate them about wider issues of social, cultural and historical relevance such as sustainability and conservation.

Core Skills Building Time

After the initial think and design time, we engage our students in forty five minutes of tablet-based core skills building exercises in math, analytical reasoning, writing and critical reading. Our needs-responsive technology and teaching methodology produces a dynamic and entirely individualized curriculum for each member that pinpoints those areas of his or her scholastic development best suited for support and enrichment.

Make and Create Time

For the final forty minutes of the session, students move into our unique Virtuosity Lab workshop to build and to create. Each member of Virtuosity360 has access to an exceptional assemblage of technologies, tools, and materials such as 3D printers, specialized craft and woodworking instruments, Arduino kits and accessories, and film-production equipment. We also open the doors of our workshop every weekend to students and parents for collaborative maker time.

  • Words we live by:

  • ENGAGE, EXPLORE, EXPERIENCE

  • DISCOVER, DESIGN, DEVELOP

  • CULTIVATE, COLLABORATE, CREATE

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APROGY

The primary goal of our Accelerated Program for Gifted Youth (APROGY) is to cultivate and to enrich the intellectual development of motivated and talented students well beyond the many scholarly challenges posed in the elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. The pedagogical trajectory of the Program aims both to augment core substantive elements of the knowledge-base of our students in mathematics and in the humanities and, more generally, to foster the release of their full critical and creative thinking potentials.

Our APROGY sessions alternate between three subject areas and each curiculum is personalized to the interests and passions of the individual student:

Intellectual History and Philosophies of the Western Tradition

In this section of the program, we will explore the intellectual historical unfolding of the main currents of Western thought. By combining readings of primary sources and context-based analysis, students will be exposed to some of the major themes that characterize the worldviews of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern societies. We will read accessible selections from Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Machiavelli, Montaigne, Hobbes, Rousseau, Emerson, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Freud. This course will stress skill-building in critical reading and close textual analysis.

Foundations of Spaces, Shapes and Numbers

This section will attempt to shed light on the fascinating conceptual groundwork of the main ideas of arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. Starting with Euclid’s Elements and the works of Archimedes, we will explore a range of the basic proofs and methods employed in Antiquity to reach mathematical truth and verification. We will then move on to survey some of the fundamental concepts behind algebra and calculus through thinkers from Diophantus and Descartes to Leibniz and Newton. This course will stress the practical dimensions of the analytical logic that underlies the mathematical thinking.

Fundamentals of Creative and Analytical Writing

While writing creatively and writing analytically are often treated as distinctive and somewhat disconnected aptitudes, in this part of the program we will stress their overlapping and complimentary natures. Even a good analytical writer will fail to deliver his or her message if a lack of style gets in the way of the delivery of the argument. In a similar way, even a good creative writer will be unsuccessful in effectively communicating his or her ideas without a degree of coherence and logical consistency in the narrative. By examining samples of exceptional creative and analytical writing, we will aim to achieve an articulate understanding of the methods and dynamics of effective written expression. Students will also be encouraged over the course of the lessons to develop their own style of argumentation and presentation.

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Joining us

Students interested in joining Virtuosity360 must either apply online or submit a paper application. Admission to our school-year programs is determined on a rolling basis and is subject to the availability of spaces at the time of the application. Accepted students will be welcomed in to our East Village location to receive diagnostic testing. On the basis of this evaluation, qualifying candidates will be offered a place in our Accelerated Program for Gifted Youth (APROGY).

Participation in our Virtuosity360 after-school programs is structured on a monthly basis.

SCHOLAR-MAKER PROGRAM

Includes: 4 learning and making sessions; 2 hours of open weekend maker-time per week; ongoing mentoring and academic support; 1 hour of cumulative test prep.

APROGY PROGRAM

In addition to the partaking in the Sage-Maker Program, APROGY students participate in individualized tutorials specially designed to challenge them beyond their school curriculum. These tutorials are broken down into three main subject areas: (1) Intellectual History and Philosophies of the Eastern and Western Traditions (2) Foundations of Spaces, Shapes and Numbers (3) Fundamentals of Creative and Analytical Writing.

Apply Now

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Every person is a unique mosaic of passions, skills and talents.

– Virtuosity360
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Who we are

We believe that the best teachers and mentors are those who not only foster the intellectual growth of their students but inspire them through their caring and their deeds.

David Leslie

David Leslie

Founder and Executive Director

Dr. David Leslie is currently on the Faculty at the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies at Harvard University. Previously, he taught at Yale University’s Program on Ethics, Politics, and Economics. David was born and raised in New York City, where he attended high school at Riverdale Country School. He graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania and then received his MPhil with a mark of Exceptional Distinction from Cambridge University. David returned to the US after his time in Great Britain in order to complete his doctoral degree at Yale University. During his time at Yale, David found an institutional home at the Program on Ethics, Politics, and Economics, which is the University’s most competitive limited-admission interdisciplinary major. At Harvard, David has been the recipient of Derek Bok Certificates for Teaching Excellence 2011-2012, 2012-2013, and 2013-2014 as well as the 2014 Stanley Hoffmann Prize for Excellence in Teaching, which is the highest teaching honor in Social Studies and is awarded to only one faculty member each academic year. Besides his work at Harvard and at Yale as a teacher and intellectual mentor, he has edited the work of some of the most well-known philosophers and social theorists of the contemporary age. He has also published research on the philosophy and theory of artificial intelligence, recursion theory and combinatorial logic. He is currently at work on a book entitled The Dangerous Species, which looks at the ethical issues surrounding humanly generated species extinction risks. David has been involved in academic and career consulting for many years. His past clients attend top schools and pursue dynamic professional lives around the globe.

David Leslie

David Leslie

Founder and Executive Director

Dr. David Leslie is currently on the Faculty at the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies at Harvard University. Previously, he taught at Yale University’s Program on Ethics, Politics, and Economics. David was born and raised in New York City, where he attended high school at Riverdale Country School. He graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania and then received his MPhil with a mark of Exceptional Distinction from Cambridge University. David returned to the US after his time in Great Britain in order to complete his doctoral degree at Yale University. During his time at Yale, David found an institutional home at the Program on Ethics, Politics, and Economics, which is the University’s most competitive limited-admission interdisciplinary major. At Harvard, David has been the recipient of Derek Bok Certificates for Teaching Excellence 2011-2012, 2012-2013, and 2013-2014 as well as the 2014 Stanley Hoffmann Prize for Excellence in Teaching, which is the highest teaching honor in Social Studies and is awarded to only one faculty member each academic year. Besides his work at Harvard and at Yale as a teacher and intellectual mentor, he has edited the work of some of the most well-known philosophers and social theorists of the contemporary age. He has also published research on the philosophy and theory of artificial intelligence, recursion theory and combinatorial logic. He is currently at work on a book entitled The Dangerous Species, which looks at the ethical issues surrounding humanly generated species extinction risks. David has been involved in academic and career consulting for many years. His past clients attend top schools and pursue dynamic professional lives around the globe.

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Our Location

We are located in the heart of the East Village at 155 East 2nd Street.

Questions? Reach out to us.

We are eager to answer any questions you may have about the Virtuosity360 program. We also welcome your comments and your feedback, so don't hesitate to reach out.