Ambassador FAQs

For useful tips and tricks about how to connect with youth and how to answer all types of questions, view these great videos from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific:

Q: Who can write my Recommendation Letter if I'm a freshman or a transfer student and I don't know any faculty very well?

A: A high school teacher (preferably math or science teacher) or employer, who knows you well and who can speak to your skills and work-ethic, may write a recommendation letter instead of a college/ university faculty member.

Q: How do I introduce myself to a teacher and coordinate my visit with them?

A: It's best to start by looking at the Request Document. Find out what the teacher initially requested so that you don't necessarily have to start at square one in trying to find out all the details. Send the teacher an email and cc the SPOT email. Introduce who you are, mention where you go to school, and let the teacher know you're excited to present to their students! Ask the teacher if the details you have from the Request Document are still what they would like. If you're certified in multiple presentations, let the teacher know which ones. If you have set available dates and times that you could present, list them. Ask if the teacher would prefer you to call them or for them to call you to discuss details further. List the numbers they provided and ask if these are the best numbers to reach them at and provide your number. For more guidance, refer to other certified Ambassadors, your Campus Advisor, or the SPOT Coordinator!

Q: What if I am asked a question that I don't know the answer to?

A: Say, "I don't know". Go on to encourage the student to investigate their question on their own, with friends, family, or their teacher! You can also tell them you will look up the answer for them and send it to their teacher; but only do this if you know you will remember to do so or have the time to do so! Encourage hypotheses or ideas about what the answer could be, it's better to think and help the students think scientifically than know all the answers.

Q: What do I do when presenting to groups with views that conflict with the information I'm presenting?

A: This is always a tough scenario but in truth, science doesn't attempt to answer questions of philosophy or religion. Science is solely an investigation of the natural world and a presentation of the data that is gathered.

Q: Why have I not seen my paycheck when I presented a week ago?

A: The Fiscal Division at Green Bank Observatory has 30 days to complete a pay-order once it is received. When you receive the payment will depend on when you reported your visit and when the check was mailed. Your payment will always go to the address you provided on your W-9. If you are unsure about a payment after one month has passed since you reported, send an email to the SPOT account.

Q: I'm certified to present one presentation. If I want to present a different presentation I don't have to pass a certification presentation right?

A: Wrong. You must become certified in any presentation you plan to present.

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