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AAS - 2015

The Winter American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting is the largest meeting of professional astronomers in the world. NITARP educators attend an AAS first to meet their team, then they go home and work remotely for much of the year, and then attend an AAS to present their results.  At any given AAS, then, we could have two NITARP classes attending - those finishing up, and those getting started. Reload to see a different set of quotes.

The 2014 and 2015 NITARP teams attended the 2015 January AAS meeting in Seattle, WA. The 2014 class was presenting results and the 2015 class was starting up. We had many alumni raise money to come back as well. We sent about 50 people to the AAS and had a grand time. Please see the special article on NITARP at the AAS. All of the posters we presented are here:


Quotes

  • Opportunities like NITARP help both teachers and students to really understand what authentic scientific research is all about. I have been teaching for 29 years. Programs like NITARP keep my teaching fresh.
  • [student:] The most interesting thing was the AAS Conference as a whole. In my life, I have never felt so satisfied, never been around so many bursting and brilliant minds. As a young boy with a passion for learning (and a newfound passion for astronomy), that trip has seriously impacted my life in ways I never would have imagined.
  • For some reason, introductory astronomy textbooks tend not to focus much on SEDs or color-color plots. However, these tools have cropped up in each of my NITARP projects. I imagine this is not a coincidence! I’d like to find a way to introduce these two key concepts in my introductory astronomy course.
  • [student:] I started this project knowing absolutely nothing about astronomy. My idea of an astronomer was a man (or woman) in a spacesuit prancing on the moon. I was completely unaware of the breadth of astronomy as I have never taken a class and have never been exposed to anything close to astronomy (haven't even taken a physics class before). I now realize that astronomers are one of the most friendliest, smartest, collaborative bunch of people, and that they don't have to be covered in white bubbly suits to be called astronomers.
  • In the past, I had never tried to use raw astronomical data (such as .fits files at various wavelengths) for stars or open clusters because I didn’t know how to analyze it or where to find it. Now that I know both, I have already begun to create and test lesson plans that teach my students how to do such things as create representative color images from IR data, chart SEDs, or even do photometry or more advanced analyses. Now my students can do real science, and hopefully take the next step of getting our own telescope and camera and taking our own photos at chosen wavelengths, reducing the images, and analyzing the results.

AAS - 2015