• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2013 - CM4Sy

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 CM4Sy team came to visit in July 2013. The core team educators attended, plus 11 students.


  • [student:] I’d say that the best thing about this trip was the people that we were with for the week. I’ve met so many amazing people who have honestly changed my life. I’ve made strong friendships with all of my group mates and the classmates that I came here with. Everyone was so friendly and great. I also loved how the work was very hands on and not through a textbook. It gave me a chance to really explore the work field that we were in.
  • The best thing about the trip was the chance to interact with others who are trying to do the same things that I am trying to do. No one else around me tries to do student research (even though I have tried to get other teachers involved), not in my district nor in any of the surrounding ones. It was great to spend time with other teachers (and their students) who are trying to accomplish the same things that I am trying to do.
  • I was most surprised at how well my students took to the work. Prior to the trip, they worked to understand the project proposal and researched the instruments, but they seemed a bit detached from it at home. Once here, though, they engaged much more intensely, asked more questions, and really wanted to do a great job. Without prompting they all took out there computers and continued making graphs with our data set at the airport while waiting for our flight home.
  • [The best thing was] Reviewing the project and doing the actual number crunching and data analysis. I found that the best and most part of the NITARP experience. It was rewarding to do the data analysis and to discuss it with one another.
  • "Real astronomy" is diving into the unknown. Asking a question that does not have an answer yet and trying to solve it. That's what we did. We are trying something completely new and I love how I don't know what were going to get. That is real science. We can do labs, but often times, they are done with expected answers. [This experience wasn't that at all.]

Summer Visit - 2013 - CM4Sy