Research

Rural America: How Online Learning Can Provide Equitable Opportunities

By on June 24th, 2020

We have all heard of “the” best teacher in the school. In fact, when you are lucky enough to get this teacher for your child (or yourself), you can be left feeling like you won the lottery! Thoughts fill your head thinking about how much your child will learn.

For many, we keep our fingers crossed until we receive our child’s schedule for next year and then breathe a sigh of relief (and maybe do the Happy Dance) when we see Mr. Awesome’s or Mrs. Fabulous’ name. Online learning allows fantastic teachers to be a child’s teacher regardless of the child’s zip code.

In today’s world, how can we ensure that we are providing equitable opportunities to students?

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Staying Connected Through Blended Learning

By on June 23rd, 2020

Florida Virtual School supports Blended Learning Community (BLC) settings in schools across the state of Florida and beyond. In these blended environments, students learn through a combination of online and face-to-face learning. Over the past two years, the FLVS Analysis, Assessment, and Accountability Research Team has partnered with the University of Central Florida to study the unique environment that Blended Learning Communities offer FLVS students, teachers, and Florida schools.

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FLVS Collaborates with Research Partners

By on May 15th, 2020

Blended and online learning are still relatively new modes of Kindergarten-12th grade learning. As they continue to grow, learning more about what makes them effective for students is critically important. 

Research and Evaluation is an arm of our Analysis, Assessment, and Accountability department at Florida Virtual School. Part of this team’s work includes collaborating with universities and other research partners to broaden and contribute to blended and online learning research focused on primary and secondary educational environments. 

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FLVS Follows Science on Its Way to Space

By on April 30th, 2018

SpaceX CRS14

On April 2, 2018, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted into space with the Dragon spacecraft – sending fascinating science experiments and supplies to the International Space Station.

FLVS was invited to share the experience with our students and followers through social media, including a behind-the-scenes tour of NASA facilities at Kennedy Space Center prior to launch. Continue reading


Aliens and Explosions

By on March 30th, 2017

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

By on December 7th, 2016

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


Thankful for the Mountains We Climb

By on November 22nd, 2016

blog_thankful_challenges2016 is an incredible time to be a teacher.

I am grateful for each and every day I get to work alongside the best of the best in education.

While expectations are high, standards seem impossible to meet, and the everyday trials and struggles we face seem endless, this time in our country and our world is truly an incredible time to be a teacher. We have so much more access to research about how and why we learn. We have clearer pictures of our brains and all they can accomplish.

We might be up against some very difficult mountains to climb, but the teachers that have gone before us have never been as well equipped as we are today.

As a teacher I’ve always been fascinated with the brain – how it operates so much more than just our physical bodies. Each and every day, new research is published confirming something I think teachers have always known. Continue reading


To Bennu and Back!

By on September 29th, 2016

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


The FLVS Minions

By on May 17th, 2016

Minions in the ClassroomYoung adolescents require drastically different and unique approaches to education.

Middle school educators have always understood that the biological events of puberty fundamentally disrupt the somewhat smooth development of elementary school years and has a profound impact upon the cognitive, social, and emotional lives of young teens.

In line with this important insight, educators see the need for the delivery of special instructional and administrative changes in the way that education takes place for kids in early adolescence.
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Joining Mars MAVEN Ambassador Program

By on August 22nd, 2015

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