The Virtual High School Awarded Grant from
the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space

VHS to Create Online Course for Space Station Academy

December 10, 2013, Maynard, MA — The Virtual High School (, the nonprofit pioneer of K-12 online learning, today announced they have received a major gift from The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) for an undisclosed amount. The grant will fund the initial development of a state-of-art online course for the Space Station Academy to help individuals of all ages learn about Earth and space through a simulated mission to the International Space Station. Starting in September, 2014, the course will be available to Virtual High School (VHS) member schools and there will also be a public version available.

With the goal of helping students understand and appreciate our planet from the dramatic perspective of the Space Station, the course will put the student in the role of a real astronaut and will feature both simulated and real interactions with astronauts, active work on the Station, and spectacular photos of Earth taken by the astronauts. In support of Next Generation Science and STEM standards, the course will feature interactive tools and visualizations, and will be integrated with Windows on Earth, the software used by astronauts use to support their own Earth photography.

VHS’ mission is to provide students with access to high quality online and blended learning experiences, while supporting educators with the professional development and services they need in order to provide an effective 21st century education to every student. VHS partner schools have access to a wide range of core, elective, and AP® courses that inspire, ignite and deepen learning as well as enable students to develop independent learning skills, explore college majors and careers, earn credits and participate in global classrooms. Courses are taught by highly qualified teachers who are specially trained in online teaching best practices, and are certified in their subject areas.

Space Station Academy is a partnership of VHS, the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), Technical Education Research Center (TERC), NAG Inc. and Myriad Inc.

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About The Virtual High School
The Virtual High School is the pioneer of K-12 online learning. Since 1995, the nonprofit organization has been setting the standard for quality online education. VHS provides courses taught in global online classrooms for secondary school students and online professional development in 21st century teaching for educators. The organization also meets the unique educational needs of schools through custom course development, private course offerings, and support for blended learning initiatives.

VHS’ design and delivery standards was the model used by the National Education Association in their recommended standards for online learning. The organization has won numerous awards, including the Stockholm Challenge Award for Global Excellence in Information Technology and is a three-time winner of the United States Distance Learning Association’s (USDLA) award for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices. For more information, visit or call (978) 897-1900.

Press Contact: Carol Arnold, Arnold Communications,, (877) 718-4604 x2.

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