Training and Workshops
The Single Dish Training Workshop is for students, post-docs, and experts in other fields of astronomy to gain both knowledge and practical experience of the techniques and applications of single-dish radio astronomy.
Our Observer Training Workshop is intended for experienced astronomers who need to learn the specifics of observing with the GBT.
Student Research Opportunities
The Green Bank Observatory offers STEM research opportunities for students of most ages – starting from around grade three up through graduate school! Some require your presence here at the Green Bank site, but we also have some online opportunities.
The Green Bank Science Center hosts the annual county-wide science fair for students in grade 3 and up. We’ll visit your school and help students design science and engineering experiments. On Fair Day, students spend the whole school day at the Observatory and participate in hands-on activities and demos, as well as having their projects judged of course!
Radio Astronomer for a Day
What sets a scientist apart is that they tackle questions that don’t yet have answers. You can’t just “google it” when you are doing science! The Green Bank Observatory Radio Astronomer for a Day program provides an authentic research experience for students in grades 5 and up. School groups and youth groups of all kinds and ages may visit the Observatory for an overnight stay or participate virtually! The central theme is conducting observations with a working radio telescope to investigate our Universe! When in person, we supplement the program with tours and hands-on activities as well. It’s amazing what students can learn in just one day! This program meets NGSS Nature of Science standards. And it’s free; only room and board costs are incurred. For more information visit our field trips page.
Sharing the Universe with youth. That’s what Skynet Junior Scholars is all about. Youth Leaders and Educators sign up for Skynet Junior Scholars (SJS) and can then enroll students in an SJS Club. That’s when the fun begins!
Leaders and youth gain access to research grade telescopes around the world including a 20 Meter Radio Telescope here in Green Bank! Through a series of fun observational astronomy activities, you can take images and radio data, do experiments, earn online badges, and participate in research projects like tracking asteroids. Collaborate with others via our online forum and team projects. All the learning and observing is online, so what are you waiting for? Visit the website to learn more. Skynet Junior Scholars is funded by the National Science Foundation.
The Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC) is a joint project between the Green Bank Observatory and West Virginia University (WVU), funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The goal of the PSC is to give high school students, and their teachers experience doing real research. With this experience they gain the confidence they need to succeed in STEM majors in college!
In 2007, the Green Bank Telescope was in need of repairs. Specifically, it needed a new track. While this track was being replaced, the telescope was unable to move and could only point at a fixed position in the sky. During this time, two astronomers from WVU, Dr. Maura McLaughlin and Dr. Duncan Lorimer used the Green Bank Telescope to observe the sky as it drifted overhead.
And as the sky drifted by, they took data. And more data. And more data! And they want to use this data to search for new pulsars. In 2008, we teamed up to form the PSC, and students have analyzed more than 2,500,000 pieces of data, and made some discoveries along the way!
In 2015, we expanded the program to include more than 10 colleges and universities around the country. Would you like to join the team? Twice each academic year we hold a six-week online course to prepare you to be diligent researchers. High school teachers and students can sign up. Once you pass muster you will be granted access to “raw” data, and the research begins. Active teachers and students may apply to summer camp and attend annual capstone events as well. We have a dedicated website for the project. Learn more and apply to become a PSC member!
We have held a summer student research program since the beginning of the Observatory in 1959! Undergraduate students spend 10-12 weeks on site participating in an astronomy, engineering or computer science research project. The project may involve any aspect of astronomy, including original research, instrumentation, telescope design, astronomical site evaluation or astronomical software development. The program runs from 10-12 weeks over the summer, from late May to mid-August. At the end of the summer, participants present their research results as a short talk and submit a written report. Often, these projects result in publications in scientific journals. Financial support is available for students to present their summer research at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society, generally at the winter meeting following their appointment.
Green Bank Observatory’s Physics Inspiring the Next Generation: Exploring the Cosmos Summer Camp
This program is a collaboration between the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP), the Green Bank Observatory (GBO) and Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) to expose traditionally underrepresented minorities to science and engineering with a focus on physics and radio-astronomy. Launched in 2014, the the PING program focuses on multiple levels of the physics and astronomy pipeline, and includes a two-week summer camp that engages middle school students in physics and astronomy.
PING Summer Camp. Rising 9th-graders will attend camp for 2 weeks in 2022, and will be immersed in the research activities of Green Bank Observatory. Students will work in small teams supported by an undergraduate student mentor and a staff scientist (astronomer, physicist, engineer, etc.) to conduct research by observing the universe with a 40-foot diameter radio telescope. Supplemental educational activities, including bench experiences building electronic circuits, and coding activities complement the primary research theme and enhance our engaging atmosphere. In addition, fun group activities like star gazing, games, hiking, and talent-share sessions (where mentors teach campers anything from a new language to origami) will take place to promote community building and the overall camp experience. Applications are due May 30th, 2022. For more information, including application instructions, check out the
The program targets specifically two White House initiatives, My Brother’s Keeper which is working to address the education needs of young men of color, and a second effort to promote interest in science among girls. However, all current 8th-graders (rising 9th-graders) are welcome to apply!
Questions about the PING program? Please contact ude.o1652817848arn@t1652817848niase1652817848ds1652817848.
Two-week Internship for rising freshmen and sophomores
Join Green Bank Observatory to conduct research to help us characterize RFI for a new instrument being built for the GBT! Learn more and apply here.
Physics Inspiring the Next Generation: Exploring the Cosmos with Green Bank Observatory
The Physics Inspiring the Next Generation (PING): Investigating the Cosmos with Green Bank Observatory program is a collaboration between the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP), the Green Bank Observatory (GBO) and Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) to expose traditionally underrepresented minorities to science and engineering with a focus on physics and radio-astronomy. Launched in 2014, the the PING program focuses on multiple levels of the physics and astronomy pipeline, and includes an eight-ten week internship program designed to cultivate interest in physics and (radio) astronomy research in undergraduate students.
Undergraduate Internships provide stipends to undergraduate students for an 8-10 week experience at the Green Bank Observatory. Selected students will conduct research with a scientist/mentor, and will, in turn, participate in education and public outreach by serving as mentors for rising 9th-graders at the PING Summer Camp. PING internships are designed to broaden students’ skill sets, opening the doors for future employment and academic opportunities. Applications for PING internships are accepted through the NRAO Summer Student Program portal. The deadline for Summer 2022 applications is February 1, 2022.
The program targets specifically two White House initiatives, My Brother’s Keeper which is working to address the education needs of young men of color, and a second effort to promote interest in science among girls. However, ALL current 8th-graders (rising 9th-graders) are welcome to apply!
Questions about the PING program? Please contact ude.o1652817848arn@r1652817848ehtae1652817848hs1652817848.
Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates
Besides their research, students take part in other activities, including a number of social events and excursions, as well as an extensive summer lecture series which covers aspects of radio astronomy and astronomical research. Students, may in their application materials also indicate a willingness to participate in PING, an opportunity to mentor rising ninth grade students who will be onsite for 2 weeks.
Applications for Summer 2022 are due on February 1, 2022. We will accept and review applications in conjunction with the NRAO summer student program again this year. See this website for important dates and links!