The planetarium presents free public shows on alternating Friday evenings. The
shows provide a glimpse into the night sky, highlighting the wonders of the universe,
its origins and our place among the cosmos.
See the showtimes here.
The observatory is located atop the physics department and is equipped with a 14-inch
Celestron telescope for public viewing in concert with the planetarium shows.
The PSC is an NSF-ITEST
funded project jointly run by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory
and Physics faculty. Since it began in 2008, over 400 students have jointly
searched for pulsars at the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), so far
discovering four new pulsars as well as several as-yet unidentified bursts
of radio waves. The project has had a positive impact in encouraging female
and minority students to follow careers in STEM disciplines.
The MARS program works with high school and middle school students
primarily in north-central WV and is affiliated with the international FIRST robotics program. The middle school program currently works with over 40 robotics teams, partnered
with the Educator Resources Center at the NASA IV&V Facility
and 4-H. Teams consist of of 3-10 students and at least 1 coach, training both
teachers and students. The high school program began in 2008 and currently
includes over 30 youth and 20 mentors from a variety of scientific, engineering,
and non-technical backgrounds. The program has spawned a program in southern
WV and additional teams throughout the state are under development. MARS is
a public-private partnership with corporations, foundations, and academic institutions
contributing to the support of the program.
The West Virginia Science Public Outreach Team (SPOT) recruits and trains student
ambassadors to bring presentations about current West Virginia space science,
technology, and engineering to West Virginia K-12 classrooms, museums, and
youth programs. WV educators can request Standards-based presentations and
hands-on activities for their school or venue online. During the 2015-2016
academic year, SPOT reached over 4,800 students around the state. The program
is currently supported through a collaboration among the Green Bank Observatory,
the NASA WV Space Grant Consortium, NASA IV&V Facility, West Virginia University,
Fairmont State University, WV Wesleyan College, Marshall University, WVU Institute
of Technology, WV State, and Shepherd University, and is actively seeking new
The West Virginia Chapter of the Association for Women in Science sponsors an annual
conference for middle school girls to participate in hands-on workshops that
explore a variety of science and mathematics topics. The conferences are held
on a Saturday in April in a different location in West Virginia each year. The
conference is supported by a grant from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy
Commission, Division of Science and Research.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy has a strong partnership with Spark! Imagination
and Science Center, the only science center and children's museum in a 90 mile
radius. Faculty and students do outreach during special events including
Science Day, Space Day, Robotics Day, and science night at schools in the immediate
region and throughout the state. Faculty in the department collaborated
on building a unique hands-on permanent exhibit about