When Shay Bloxton discovered pulsar 1926-1314 in 2009, she was in high school. Through the confluence of lines that symbolized radio waves, she saw evidence of the remains of a supernova, a neutron star known as a pulsar.
She and hundreds of other teenage radio wave hunters across the country have shown that high school students can become engaged and involved scientists before college, and that the role the Green Bank Telescope in Green Bank, W.Va., plays in our society is more than that of a receiver and a powerful research tool. It is a presence that inspires.
Click below to hear the WVUToday radio spot on Green Bank
West Virginia University is attempting to preserve that presence with the signing of an agreement with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (which currently manages the site) to invest $1 million in support of the facility over the next two years.
The National Science Foundation is currently discussing divesting from the Green Bank telescope over the next five years. The Foundation has said it will not make a decision until the end of the year.
One of the many reasons for continuing support of the telescope is the way it can help develop would-be scientists, even ones who don’t know that’s what they are.
A few years ago, when the nation became increasingly interested in forming new generations of scientists, mathematicians and engineers, WVU faculty and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory created the Pulsar Search Collaboratory.
That’s how Bloxton and hundreds of others have become not only exposed to scientific principles but excited, engaged and committed to a research future.
Experience the story for yourself with this video that documents the ways in which American young people are being changed by Green Bank and the collaboratory.
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