CephC-LABS (Looking For Baby Stars): continuing a study of the star-forming region Ceph C, exending into the longest wavelength data available.
I already had a pretty good idea of how astronomers do science, but NITARP helped me see more exactly how data is collected, processed, and analyzed. It helped me also see that I can do astronomy myself, and can make a contribution beyond my own classroom. Not only can I analyze astronomical data to find scientifically useful results, but I can publish my work as a poster and be part of this community. I did not feel like a stranger or usurper or even out of place – it felt like I belonged.
I have found that “real astronomy” involves a lot of data processing. In addition, I have found that collaboration is a very important aspect of the process.
What was especially important to me as an educator was the way that the students planned their own schedule of listening to research presentations [at the AAS] and reviewing poster presentations. The students were very active participants in the conference and they took away an amazing amount of information and excitement. One parent told me that her normally quiet son spent the entire weekend relating stories of the experience to his family and friends.