• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2013 - SHIPs

The summer visit to Caltech is 3-4 days long and is the only time during the year of work when all the participants on the team come together in person to work intensively on the data. Generally, each educator may bring up to two students to the summer visit that are paid for by NITARP, and they may raise funds to bring two more. The teams work at Caltech; the summer visit typically includes a half-day tour of JPL, which is a favorite site for group photos. Reload to see a different set of quotes.

The SHIPs team came to visit in June 2013. The core team educators attended, plus 9 students.


  • [student:] It is an incredible feeling to be performing revolutionary science and developing new found conclusions, over the traditional student experience of replicating experiments performed by Galileo or Newton. This experience will continue to benefit not only my vocational aspirations, but scientists to come.
  • I was also surprised not to be more tired. Don't get me wrong, I certainly took a five hour nap on Saturday after coming home on the red-eye from LA, but overall the week left me invigorated rather than exhausted.
  • [student:] I was incredibly surprised about how much computer programming I learned. Technology (especially Computer Technology) has never been my strong point but I was able to expand my knowledge and use of Python exponentially. This was completely unexpected for me and I consider it one of my proudest achievements for this trip. It was such an incredible feeling to finally get a program to work after spending a long time concentrating on it. This accomplishment was not easy for me and many times I felt frustrated. However, I then decided to approach programming with a fresh mindset: I started to think of programming as a math game or puzzle. After that, getting a program to work was like winning a game! Many times I jumped for joy after successfully making a program with my peers. I believe that this different attitude helped me gain a new appreciation and enjoyment of programming – something I never expected to happen.
  • [student:] It wasn't necessarily as surprising as it was relieving to find out that everyone was generally in the same boat as far as knowledge went. I was a bit nervous to go on the trip because Python and photometry were very new to me. But after discovering that it was new to everyone, it became a collaborative effort that I really enjoyed, and it never seemed like a competition.
  • [student:] I loved learning how to use python, APT, and ds9. It really opened my eyes to a whole new field of science.

Summer Visit - 2013 - SHIPs