By Guest Blogger on March 30th, 2017
This post was written by FLVS student Sarah Weyand about her award-winning research in astrophysics.
My 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
By Guest Blogger on February 21st, 2017
In honor of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, I would like to reflect on the influence CTE has had on my life – even though I didn’t realize it until a decade later.
As a teenager, I wasn’t a big fan of school. Classes, homework, and way too much science! I couldn’t stand it.
However, every time I left my rural campus to assist nurses at the local hospital, I felt the thrill of escape and the fun of doing something new. So, for all the wrong reasons, I enrolled in my high school’s nursing program and was quickly on my way to plenty of time not in school. The perfect plan!
It didn’t take long for me to learn my first CTE lesson: there is much more to a nursing program than wearing scrubs and getting out of class. I’d signed up for a daily, three-hour block of anatomy and physiology, as well as an introduction to nursing skills. Yep, my brilliant plan to escape school somehow locked me into three hours of science a day. Continue reading
By Linda Childs on December 7th, 2016
On 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
By Linda Childs on September 29th, 2016
Hello 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
By Suzan Kurdak on June 30th, 2016
The countdown is over and summer is now in full swing!
Can you hear the rejoicing cries of school-age children saying “no more alarm clocks,” “no teachers,” and “woohoo, no homework!”
Ask students what they want to do as they’re just beginning to submerge themselves in summer-break mode and more than likely you’ll get answers like: relax, watch TV, see movies, go to the beach, and chill with friends. Continue reading
By Guest Blogger on November 23rd, 2015
The good news is, we’re on our way to change this. If you’ve heard about the Hour of Code before, you might know it made history. More than 100 million students have tried an Hour of Code with fun online games and tutorials featuring Star Wars, Minecraft, and Frozen.
This year, students of the FLVS STEM Club will give presentations about creating websites and more. Last year, every Apple Store in the world hosted an Hour of Code and even President Obama wrote his first line of code as part of the campaign.
By Linda Childs on August 22nd, 2015
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
By Marissa Draeger on August 7th, 2015
Do you know how to penny board?
After a summer of practice, our winner of the FLVS Brain Challenge does!
Florida Virtual School student Vinay K. spent the last several weeks making progress on his penny boarding skills and compiled all of the clips of his successes and failures in one final video. As our contest winner, Vinay was the lucky recipient of four admission tickets to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL.
Check out Vinay’s winning video entry in our summer contest below! Continue reading
By Marissa Draeger on July 24th, 2015
Today we’re recognizing @horses5ful1 of Instagram for her piano practice of “Let it Go” from Disney’s Frozen.
There’s only one week left to show what you’ve learned this summer for the #FLVSbrainchallenge!
All you need to do is share a video of you learning something new on Vine, Instagram, or YouTube (or all three!) and you could win four tickets to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Check out our board of ideas below! Continue reading
By Guest Blogger on July 22nd, 2015
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