FLVS Virtual Science Fair

FLVS Student Pursues her Passion for Animals

By on September 13th, 2016

This post was written by tenth grade high school student Madison Toonder. Read about Maddie’s oyster research in a previous blog post here

madison-toonderIn October 2015, I was awarded a scholarship to attend any pre-collegiate program of my choice for winning second place in the nation in STEM mathematics at the Broadcom MASTERS national science fair competition in San Francisco, California.

I chose the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University’s two-week summer intensive in Massachusetts because it is directly related to my career path.

Tufts’ program is designed to give high school students insight into the rigors of veterinary school. During the program, we attended lectures, studied animal anatomy through fascinating dissections and hands-on palpitations, completed hospital rounds with fourth-year veterinary students, and explored the many different possible career paths within veterinary medicine. My daily agenda was varied and included activities such as learning proper techniques for handling animals, observing surgical procedures, and learning how to perform routine check-ups on a variety of different animals. One of my favorite activities was suturing bananas to practice proper technique. Continue reading


Student Researches Sunscreen’s Effects on Oysters

By on October 28th, 2015

Broadcom-Masters-ToonderHi! I’m Madison, a student at FLVS.

While attending a Busch Gardens camp in the summer of 2014, I learned that the park utilizes oysters to naturally filter their lakes.  I soon became fascinated with oysters, and after some research, I discovered oysters are dying globally due to pollution.

After this discovery, I formulated an experiment focusing on the effect of micronized chemical sunscreen (as used in spray sunscreen) and nanosized zinc oxide sunblock (as found in thicker, clear sunblock) on the ability of a bivalve mollusk (or oyster) to filter bay water. Continue reading


FLVS Annual Virtual Science Fair Now Open

By on September 24th, 2015

FLVS VSF 2015Are you a Florida Virtual School student with a knack for science?

Then you should consider entering the 10th Annual Virtual Science Fair (VSF) at Florida Virtual School!  The Virtual Science Fair offers students a chance to participate in student-led experiments. Top placing students will advance to the Dr. Nelson Ying Orange County Science Exposition, along with the potential to earn various awards, prizes, and scholarships.

Last year, FLVS student Jillian Hanley advanced to the State Science & Engineering Fair of Florida, earning an $84,000 scholarship along with a number of other cash awards!

Official entry forms are due by October 12, 2015.  Continue reading


FLVS Student Studies Sea Turtle Hatchlings

By on July 22nd, 2015

Sea Turtle Cover
It’s 11:00 pm and the moon is shining brightly in the nighttime sky over the south Florida coastline.

A large sea turtle races against time as she climbs the beach’s slopes to find the perfect nesting site. After an hour, she finds it and begins to dig a deep nest and lay her eggs. In the end, only one sea turtle out of a thousand hatchlings will survive to adulthood.

Loggerhead sea turtles are an endangered species threatened by predators, pollution, poaching, and habitat degradation. Last year, I decided to look at sea turtle hatches because of their importance in the marine life cycle. A factor that negatively affects the sea turtle’s nesting habitat is beach erosion. Continue reading