• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2012 - C-WAYS

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-WAYS team came to visit in July 2012. The core team educators attended, plus 12 students, and two additional scientists.  Dr. JD Armstrong (LCOGT/UH) and Dr. Babar Ali (IPAC) also assissted.


  • The fact that we were doing REAL science, we were working with real data, from real telescopes, looking for tangible objects in space. As much as I like working with theories and in the theoretical, it was fantastic to be able to make real scientific headway in the physics world.
  • [During the visit,] I came to learn that programming and utilizing the software and computer programs as efficiently as possible was a necessity. Without these programs, our research would be next to impossible. However, just having the software and using it wasn't enough. I quickly learned that investigating the details, applying programming skills, and manipulating our computers would greatly improve our abilities to analyze and begin processing the data. This was also one of the more interesting tasks we attacked. It made us ask questions, taste defeat, but not accept it. It gave us opportunities to learn from one another, especially the teachers and professionals we were extremely lucky to have available.
  • Even though not all of us could do every step flawlessly, different strengths balanced the different weaknesses.
  • Never had I imagined myself working with students, teachers, and actual scientists from all across the country and globe. I learned just as much culturally as I did technically.
  • The teachers and students did change the way I look at astronomy education. I saw more clearly that science education often goes from one success to the next never showing the details required to reach the scientific understanding. I wonder if an important point of the scientific process is not lost in this approach.

Summer Visit - 2012 - C-WAYS