Being able to be physically present at Caltech and the AAS expanded the impact of this program significantly. It was in these settings, in particular, where one could see how the scientific enterprise typically works and how ideas are often shared.
Having the opportunity to get new ideas from my peers and discuss projects, activities and strategies helps me to grow and keeps me from becoming stagnant in my teaching. Programs like this are like gold to me because the financial situation in the district in which I teach is such that there is no money available to send our faculty to national conferences.
I didn't anticipate meeting engineers and graphic artists [at the AAS].