Earth Space Science

FLVS Corkboard: April Highlights

Corkboard April 2017April showers may bring May flowers, but both months ultimately mean…we’re sailing into summer!

Speaking of cruising…

Shakespeare Fest 2017 was a great success! For those who were unable to attend or want to catch up on a session they missed, leave us a comment below to request the recordings!

Thank you to all of the teachers, sponsors, and student presenters who helped to make this such a spectacular event!

And while we’re on the subject of thanking teachers, don’t forget that Teacher Appreciation Week begins Monday, May 1. If you have an outstanding teacher you’d like to give a shout out to, consider posting a personal message on the FLVS Facebook page or on Instagram or Twitter using hashtag #FLVSTAW.

They appreciate YOU and your words of encouragement so much! Continue reading


Aliens and Explosions

This post was written by FLVS student Sarah Weyand about her award-winning research in astrophysics.

Studying ExoplanetsMy science fair journey began about a year ago.

I was approached by a Harvard graduate who wanted to mentor a high school senior in an astrophysics and computer science research project.

I knew nothing about astronomy and I didn’t know a single programming language, but I love space and I plan to major in computer science in college. Naturally, I said yes. This project has taken me to the Science Talent Search, the Indian River Regional Science and Engineering Fair, and, now, the State Science Fair.

My project is titled Aliens and Explosions: How Supernovae Affect the Habitable Zones of Exoplanets.

The purpose of the project is to calculate the percentage of exoplanets, a planet that does not orbit our Sun, that would no longer be in the habitable zone of their host star due to a supernova, the explosive death of a massive star. Continue reading


FLVS Attends GOES-R Satellite Launch

GOES R Satellite Blog PostOn Saturday, November 19, I had the privilege of watching the GOES-R weather satellite launch from Kennedy Space Center.

Now you may be wondering what GOES-R stands for. It’s the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, a satellite system that orbits the earth and sends data back to National Weather Service computers. The R indicates what number or version the GOES satellite is on, so there have already been versions A-R. GOES-S is slated to launch next year and is the twin to GOES-R.

Of course, weather satellites get launched all the time, so why would this one be any more special than the others?

Well, right now we receive images of satellite scans every 30 minutes or so. The GOES-R satellite will provide data at least every five minutes, and in some circumstances every 30 seconds! So not only will it be five times faster than current weather satellites, but it will also gather three times more data and it will have four times better resolution. Continue reading


To Bennu and Back!

osiris-rex-educational-science-posterHello FLVS peeps!

I had the distinct honor of representing FLVS at the OSIRIS REx rocket launch a few weeks ago.

Now if you’re wondering what exactly that means, OSIRIS REx stands for NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer. That’s a mouthful, right?

In a nutshell, NASA is sending a spacecraft to an asteroid named Bennu. Once it reaches Bennu (after a trip lasting two years), the spacecraft will orbit the asteroid for about a year, find the perfect place to collect about 80 grams of the rock, and head back home, arriving back to Earth in 2023.

It won’t actually land on the asteroid, but instead hover over it – and with the help of Canada and their amazing knowledge of spacecraft arms – will grab a small sample. (To put this in perspective, 80 grams is about the equivalent of 80 Skittle candies.)

So why are we going to Bennu? Continue reading


Joining Mars MAVEN Ambassador Program

MavenHave you ever just watched the last five minutes of a movie and tried to piece the rest of it together, backwards?

Crazy idea, right?  It’s one that Mars scientists are doing on the MAVEN mission.

MAVEN stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN and the goal is to try and figure out what happened to Mars’ atmosphere millions of years ago.

Scientists know Mars at one time resembled Earth, with an atmosphere and flowing water.  With MAVEN, they will attempt to work backwards and find out how the atmosphere and dynamo was lost.

I was lucky enough to be accepted into the MAVEN Ambassador Class of 2015 and I attended a week-long workshop with 29 other teachers to find out more about this cool mission.   Continue reading


FLVS Attends SpaceX CRS-6 Cargo Launch Mission

SpaceX

On April 12-13, 2015, FLVS once again had the privilege of going on a behind-the-scenes tour at Kennedy Space Center and sharing the experience with our students.

During the virtual field trip, followers of our FLVS Twitter account were able to tune in live for video streaming made possible with the new social app, Periscope.

While anyone can watch streams broadcasted via Twitter on their desktop or mobile device, users with the mobile Periscope app were also able to post questions in real time. We were honored to have viewers from around the world engage with us throughout the event! Continue reading


FLVS Streaming from SpaceX Launch

NASA01
Join the FLVS social media team as we tour Kennedy Space Center before the anticipated SpaceX launch on April 13th.

FLVS has been invited to attend and post live updates during the SpaceX launch currently scheduled for 4:33pm ET at Kennedy Space Center on Monday, April 13, 2015 (as of the time of this post).

This two-day NASA event will be held on Sunday and Monday and YOU are invited to join us on social media!

View live streaming of the event on Twitter and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates during the event. Continue reading


Meet FLVS Student Stars

studenthighlights
At Florida Virtual School, each student is recognized as an individual with a unique set of talents and skills.

Many of our students participate in extracurricular activities, some within FLVS and others within their hometown communities.

Every month, our students continue to shine as our highly-certified teachers encourage them to look ahead to what they can achieve in tomorrow’s world.

These are just a few of our students’ recent accomplishments… Continue reading


Attending the State of NASA

State of NASA blog coverI recently had the privilege of attending the State of the NASA address given by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

The day was full of exciting news and details about NASA’s 2016 budget, captivating science, technology, engineering, and math enthusiasts across the nation.

The SpaceX Dragon, Orion spacecraft, and Boeing CST-100 were on display behind Bolden as he addressed plans for future missions beyond low Earth orbit, with destinations including Mars and Europa. Bolden also described the excitement surrounding student involvement in NASA innovation and STEM research.

Continue reading


Becoming a Student Again with Astronomical Research

SpitzerLast year I was honored to be chosen as a NITARP teacher.

NITARP, short for the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program, pairs teachers with astronomers from Caltech and NASA, and allows the teachers to do authentic astronomical research.

I thought this program would be something that was a little out of my comfort zone, as I only had classroom experience (like most science teachers), but I decided to apply anyway as it would be an educational experience. To my surprise, I was one of eight teachers that was accepted out of hundreds of applicants.

The teachers were split up into two teams, each with an astronomer to lead them. My team had educators from Boston, Colorado, and California and my astronomer, Varoujan Gorjian, was from Caltech and NASA. Continue reading