SIRXS (SEIP IR Excess Survey) : looking for IR excesses around stars found within the Spitzer Enhanced Imaging Products (SEIP) source list.
It was refreshing to learn that NASA wants scientists to get/stay in communication with the public, including schools, regarding the science being done. Engagements translates to representation and support from a grassroots mindset.
One evening, while working on some homework, I had the realization that THIS WAS REAL. There is no right answer, in fact, no one knows the answer. I can't just go and ask someone the answer. It was like a light bulb went off and I experienced a feeling of excitement and also felt a little bit scared. I thought to myself -- Is this how astronomers feel about their work? It was a great feeling and exciting that I too am part of this now.
NITARP is the most intense and satisfying professional development programs I have participated in.