For Teachers

Welcome Teachers and Youth Leaders. The Green Bank Observatory has some exciting opportunities that engage you and your students in STEM research.

Pulsar Search Collaboratory

The Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC) is an out-of this-world opportunity for formal and informal teachers and their students to join an international team of astronomers in searching for new pulsars! Your work actually helps to advance the field of pulsar science. All STEM teachers in grades 9-12, and their students, 13 and up, are encouraged to apply! The PSC is a national program, funded by the National Science Foundation. Teachers and students participate in a free online workshop to prepare you to analyze data. Once you have your astronomer’s credential, you can analyze brand new data taken by the Green Bank Telescope! For active PSC members, Capstone Events are held around the country AND a summer PSC Camp at the Observatory will hone your skills to the next level! Join us!

Earth/Space Science Passport

ESS Passport is an amazing professional development program for West Virginia science teachers to prepare them to teach Earth and Space Science. Through a two-year program, teachers learn ESS content, WV Next Generation Science Standards (WV NxGen & NGSS), engineering design, and best pedagogical practices. During the two years teachers are provided with classroom materials and activity guides to assist in the implementation of activities. Teachers attend two summer workshops (Green Bank Observatory with Earth and space science content specialists and Fairmont State University with NASA IV&V Educatory Resource Center). In the first summer workshop, they participate in West Virginia field geology, the Junior Skynet Scholars program, and become GLOBE certified teachers. The second summer workshop incorporates engineering design and certifies teachers to check out NASA loaner kits on space weather and robotics. Through the school year teachers participate in monthly web meetings, present at WVSTA (West Virginia Science Teachers Association), attend a spring geology field trip, and conduct action research in their own classroom!

NEW!! Research Experience for Teachers June 25 – August 4, 2018  Apply now!

West Virginia University leads a collaboration with the Observatory to offer a six-week summer research program to 10 high school teachers each summer, called Digital Signal Processing in Radio Astronomy (DSPIRA). DSPIRA is funded through a grant from the Engineering Division of the National Science Foundation. Teachers will learn how to use a cheap, versatile and rapidly developing technology called software defined radio, which can be developed for astronomy applications as well as receiving signals from satellites like NOAA weather satellites! Successful applicants will spend 4 weeks working with WVU Engineers in Morgantown, and 2 weeks at the Green Bank Observatory, designing and testing software defined radio systems and piloting classroom activities with students. We are very interested in teachers who are interested in engaging their students in engineering activities. Applications are being accepted!  Find out more at Questions?  Email Sue Ann Heatherly at

Chautauqua Short Courses

Radio Astronomy Update 2018: Pulsars and Gravitational Radiation, Dark Matter and Galaxy Evolution

This 2.5 day course is designed to celebrate more than 50 years of contributions to the forefront of astronomy by the telescopes of the Green Bank Observatory. During this time researchers using these telescopes have made major advances in our understanding of topics as diverse as chemical processes in interstellar space, the early phases of star formation, the assembly of galaxies and galaxy clusters at high redshift, and the properties of black holes. Radio astronomy is critical to answering some of today’s hot questions in astronomy. Participants, on location at the Green Bank Observatory, will meet astronomers engaged in answering these questions, learning about the radio universe from the researchers in the field. Participants will also work in small groups to observe the radio universe first hand by using a 40 foot diameter radio telescope. In addition, since the course will be held at the telescope site, participants will go behind-the-scenes to tour the labs and telescopes, including the 100 meter world-class Green Bank Telescope. It is the world’s largest fully steerable single dish radio telescope. Presentations will emphasize recent research at Green Bank in two areas:

  • pulsar studies, that could lead in the near future to direct detection of gravitational radiation
  • hydrogen studies that reveal the structure and evolution of galaxies and their dark matter halos

The presenters will be scientists active in research in these areas.

For college teachers of all disciplines.
Prerequisites: none.
Costs for 2018
Application fee: $100
Course fee: $195
Contact to sign up!


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