• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2015 - IC417

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 IC417 team came to visit in June 2015. The core team educators attended, plus 8 students.


  • [Astronomers need to] be patient, thorough, mathematical as well has have a good understanding of most different types of science as astronomy seems to be related to all branches. You also need to be able to communicate effectively.
  • The students always impress me. This year they exceeded expectations in their ability to make their computers to what they needed them to do. I was surprised by how efficiently the group attacked the various tasks in the research process. I feel very good about where we are and I am optimistic that we’ll follow through with some nice results.
  • I was impressed by the many different paths that a career in astronomy can take, from engineering to PR jobs to theoretical science.
  • [student:] I got to deal with the frustrations of being wrong and trying to figure things out, but I also saw the creative solutions people come up with to solve these problems. I also learned how important it is to code and that fluency in at least one relevant computer language is very important.
  • [student:] The best thing about this trip was when Luisa was presenting a slide show to us and said, “Remember. There is no answer in the back of the book. This has never been done before. So do it right.” It really opened my eyes as to the immense amount of responsibility and trust was being put on us high school kids. I’m barely halfway through my educational career and there has never been a time where someone, somewhere, didn’t have a cheat sheet or answer code. It’s completely humbling and uplifting to have to do your own work, with the knowledge that you are in a building where people do it every day and love it.

Summer Visit - 2015 - IC417