• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2013 - C-CWEL

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 "C-CWEL" team came to visit in August 2013. The core team educators attended, plus 11 students.


  • For students, I think they need to understand that the project is ultimately ad investigation into something brand new – there is not right or wrong, clear end point, or place to check your work. They also need to remember that this is real research – not a basic lab or pull out session – there is real work that lasts longer than 55 min at a stretch and takes dedicated brain effort. Also not to be upset if wrong from time to time – it is all part of the process and a great learning opportunity.
  • [student:] I thought that scientific research would be complex and complicated, but this exceeds that to a whole new level.
  • [This trip] did have a big impact on what my students thought – it was very eye-opening for them to see that astronomers were not stuck in front of a telescope all night, have high computer skills but can also not understand all of what a particular program does or how, and are ‘normal’. Great for them.
  • I have learned that a student’s age or grade level can never be used to judge their ability to grasp the complex if they are only give the right time and instruction. They showed me that again on this trip.
  • [Three best things about this trip:] Learning a new skill and the great gains in understanding and knowledge about the subject. Watching the students from a wide variety of locations and background come together and form friendships, working relationships, and build support for the project and each other. Getting the opportunity to work on a project such as this with other educators from various disciplines and backgrounds come together to form friendships, working relationships, and build support for the project and each other.

Summer Visit - 2013 - C-CWEL