This virtual team collects all independent research presented in 2012, and done by NITARP or Spitzer alumni with students outside of a formal NITARP team. Two different teams presented posters in 2012.
I saw kids rise to a challenge and meet it – they learned a lot from the process, each other, and the experience – in ways they could not get in a regular classroom setting at home.
I have already talked to my department about adding an astronomy research class to our class choices next year and they are very enthusiastic.
What makes NITARP extraordinary is the level of commitment: both the program's commitment to teachers, and the commitment required from teachers. Teachers commit to a year of hard work, study, risk taking, and intellectual growth. In return, NITARP commits to teachers the most precious resource possible: attentive and supportive mentorship from astronomers at one of the world's premiere research institutions. For me and my students the results have been transformative.