This virtual team collects all independent research presented in 2015, and done by NITARP or Spitzer alumni with (or without) students outside of a formal NITARP team.
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.
[at the 2013 AAS,] I was always struck by the focus on ensuring the data is real and using modeling to create templates when classifying objects or processes.
Today [June 2014] I was musing about how NITARP took me to my first AAS in 2012. This summer I went on my own, had a great time connecting with established friends and meeting new ones, and even presented my own poster. I'd say that's some pretty good progress! Thanks for all that you do for us teachers!