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Participate in the WV SPOT Research Study

The Study

 Thanks to support provided by the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium, we were able to hire a research graduate student for the 2023-2024 school year and develop a series of surveys to evaluate the impact WV SPOT has on K12 students, teachers, and our undergraduate ambassadors.

Our project and associated surveys were evaluated and approved by West Virginia University's Internal Review Board (IRB) and is filed under WVU Protocol #2310861191.


For Educators

For Students

For Undergraduates

Research Team Members

Matthew Cerep

Dr. Tobi Odeleye

Sophie de Saint Georges

Education Specialist, Green Bank Observatory

Sue Ann Heatherly

Deputy of Educational Programs, Green Bank Observatory

Who can Participate?


Educators who choose to participate are asked to complete a survey after receiving a SPOT visit. This survey includes questions that will assess the impact of the West Virginia Science Public Outreach Team (WV SPOT) on K-12 students. It includes questions about the experience and impact of the SPOT visit for K-12 students' awareness and interest in STEM careers.

Participation in this research study is completely voluntary and educators are free to withdraw from the research at any time. Risks are minimal and include the time required to complete the survey and optional interview.

K12 Students

K12 students who attend a SPOT presentation will be given an anonymous survey to complete in class if:


Undergraduate Ambassadors who choose to participate are asked to complete a survey during annual meetings. The survey measures the impact of the West Virginia Science Public Outreach Team (WV SPOT) on students receiving the presentations and Ambassadors giving them. Your role in this study, if you choose to participate, helps us assess the program's impact on STEM career awareness and interest, near-peer mentoring, and 21st century skills. 


Q: Who's conducting this study?

A: Green Bank Observatory is a research facility of the National Science Foundation located in Green Bank, WV and manages the WV SPOT program. Through grant #80NSSC20M0055, we hired WVU Graduate student, Matthew Cerep to conduct this study through May 2024.

Q: What do I do if I have questions?

A: If you have any questions or concerns about this research you can contact Matthew Cerep at mtc00017@mix.wvu.edu from the Dept. of Physics and Astronomy at West Virginia University or the West Virginia University Institutional Review Board (IRB) at irb@mail.wvu.edu. 

Q: How will data be protected?

A: All adult data will be de-identified and all K12 student surveys are anonymous. For a more detailed view, see our Data Protection Certificate.

Q: How will data be stored?

A: All data will be kept in password protected drives and only persons who have completed CITI Ethics training will have access. For a more detailed list of approved storage methods, see our Data Protection Certificate.

Q: Will data be shared?

A: No identifiable data will be shared outside of the research team.

Q: Where can I see the results of this study?

A: Upon the completion of the study, results will be shared on the Metrics page of www.wvspot.org and any publications will be listed.

Q: Can I participate if I had a SPOT visit a year ago?

A: We are only collecting responses from visits beginning October 2023.

Contact Us:

Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM until 5 PM

About Us: 

The West Virginia Science Public Outreach Team (WV SPOT) began in 2013 as a partnership between the Green Bank Observatory, West Virginia Space Grant consortium, and the Katherine Johnson IV&V Facility. We recruit and train WV undergraduates to bring presentations about current West Virginia science, technology, and engineering to West Virginia K-12 classrooms, museums, and youth programs. Since then, we have delivered 800 presentations and impacted the lives of more than 25,000 students!

Our team continues to grow thanks to dedicated sponsors, undergraduates, and teachers determined to bring role models and STEM activities into their classrooms. 

Our Mission: 

"The West Virginia Science Public Outreach Team (WV SPOT) inspires an appreciation of STEM and STEM careers in K-12 students through the delivery of interactive presentations by undergraduate students, which highlight innovative science and engineering research in the Mountain State."

Our Goals:

(1)   Increase awareness of and interest in STEM research, programs, and careers in West Virginia.

(2)   Increase confidence with STEM topics.

(3)   Increase exposure to college role models.

(1)   Increase 21st century skills such as science communication, public speaking, autonomy, and ability to adapt.

(2)   Increase science content knowledge.

(3)   Improve resume and provide networking opportunities.