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Outreach Programs and Partnerships

WVU Planetarium and Observatory

WVU Planetarium and Observatory

Our Planetarium presents free, public shows on alternating Friday evenings during the majority of the year. 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 White Hall, home of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and is equipped with a 14-inch Celestron telescope for public viewing in concert with planetarium shows.

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Mountaineer Area Robotics

MARS 2614

The MARS program works with high school and middle school students in north-central WV in affiliation with the international FIRST robotics program. The middle school program works with over 40 robotics teams in partnership with the Educator Resources Center at the NASA IV & V Facility and 4-H. The high school program includes over 30 youth and 20 mentors from a variety of scientific, engineering, and non-technical backgrounds. MARS is a public-private partnership with corporations, foundations, and academic institutions contributing to the support of the program.

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Pulsar Science Collaboratory


The PSC is an NSF-ITEST funded project run by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and WVU Physics and Astronomy faculty. Since it began in 2007, over 400 students have searched for pulsars at the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), so far discovering four new pulsars and several bursts of radio waves. The project has had a positive impact in encouraging underrepresented students to follow careers in STEM disciplines. Program components include FREE online training and the PSC Capstone Seminar.

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Spark! Imagination and Science Center


The WVU 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, staff, and students assist with special events including Science Day, Space Day, Robotics Day, and science nights at WV schools. Our faculty collaborated on a unique, hands-on, permanent exhibit about Space Weather.

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Science Public Outreach Team


SPOT recruits and trains student ambassadors to bring presentations about current West Virginia science, technology, and engineering to West Virginia children in grades K-12. The program is managed by Green Bank Observatory with involvement from institutions across the state. West Virginia educators can request Standards-based presentations and hands-on activities for their school or venue online.

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