Outreach

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The Education and Public Outreach Team leads a variety of outreach programs. When and where we can, we would love to participate in your STEM event whether in person or virtually. If you are a K-12 teacher in West Virginia, we encourage you to take advantage of our Science Public Outreach Team, a group of enthusiastic undergraduate students who deliver interactive presentations and hands-on activities about science happening in the mountain state. We partner with the West Virginia Alliance for STEM and the Arts on STEAM Trek, a virtual STEAM festival celebrating West Virginia STEM and the arts.

Bring Science and Engineering to Your School with WV SPOT!


SPOT Ambassadors trying a hands-on activity to size up the Moon
SPOT Ambassadors trying a hands-on activity to size up the Moon

The Green Bank Observatory partners with NASA and the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium to bring standards-based science presentations to your West Virginia classrooms! Trained college ambassadors visit K-12 classrooms with interactive presentations and hands-on activities through the West Virginia Science Public Outreach Team (WV SPOT).

WV SPOT increases K-12 student and teacher awareness of and interest in STEM research, programs, and careers in West Virginia, and students gain valuable exposure to college role models.

We train our college ambassadors at Green Bank Observatory in the immersive environment of the Quiet Zone. They learn in-depth science content knowledge, and they gain important “21st century skills,” such as science communication, public speaking, autonomy, and ability to adapt.

Visit the WV SPOT website to learn more! WV Educators – formal and informal – can submit a request for a WV SPOT Ambassador to visit their school or organization, and college students can sign up to become Ambassadors.

Not a WV resident and want to become involved? Read our publication about how to start SPOT in your own region!

Virtual Visits

We provide virtual field trips, and real-time demos using a robotic telescope to all educational organizations including classrooms , clubs and amateur astronomy groups. All educational activities are free.

If you have any questions not answered here or would like to request a virtual learning experience, contact our education team using the form at the bottom of this page. If you have any questions before requesting a visit, please contact us at gro.y1716992061rotav1716992061resbo1716992061bg@sn1716992061oitav1716992061reser1716992061.

Virtual visits are offered to educational groups of five or more participants only.

Virtual Visit Frequently Asked Questions

  • Sanctioned school groups
  • Sanctioned university or college groups
  • Church youth groups
  • Homeschool associations or clubs
  • Scout, 4-H, Civil Air Patrol, and other after-school clubs or groups
  • Camp groups from other organizations or museums
  • Adult enrichment or professional development organizations

These virtual visits are open to groups of five or more.

This is an opportunity to learn from a Green Bank Observatory educator. Depending on how much time you’d like to spend, we have several options:

  • Site History: 30-45 minutes. Learn about the history of radio astronomy and the Green Bank Observatory. Usually offered in conjunction with the Science Discussion. Suitable for second grade and up.
  • Science Discussion: 30-45 minutes. Learn about the Green Bank Telescope’s science projects, and analyze real data from our Twenty Meter Telescope. Usually offered in conjunction with the Site History presentation. Suitable for second grade and up.
  • Site Tour: 60-90 minutes. Learn about the history of radio astronomy and Green Bank telescopes and projects. Suitable for third grade and older.
  • GBT Tour: 60-90 minutes. Learn about the design of the Green Bank Telescope, how it moves, how it collects data, and what makes one of the world’s premier radio telescopes. Suitable for advanced high school and older.
  • Milky Way Discovery: 90-120 minutes. Learn about Green Bank telescopes and projects, and then use real data from our Twenty Meter Telescope to discover the motion and structure of the Milky Way. Suitable for fifth grade and up.
  • Virtual Radio Astronomer for a Day: At least two 60-90 minute sessions over two days. Use the Twenty Meter Telescope to take data and discover the motion and structure of the Milky Way. Please note this program is only available when the Twenty Meter is online and unused. Contact gro.y1716992061rotav1716992061resbo1716992061bg@sn1716992061oitav1716992061reser1716992061 for the status of this telescope. Suitable for fifth grade and up.
  • Personalized Visits: If you have a special interest group, such as ham radio, or would like to schedule a visit around a specific part of your students’ curriculum, we will work with you to make a great experience!

Virtual visits are available at any time except Wednesday mornings. Please fill out the form linked below at least two weeks in advance in order to schedule a visit.

The Green Bank Observatory Science Center has a Zoom account that can host up to 99 participants. If your organization has another conferencing system, such as Teams, Skype, WebEx, another Zoom account, etc., that is preferred.

Use the button above to request a virtual visit.

We ask that you submit your request at least two weeks in advance to give us time to finalize details of the visit.