• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2010 - CG4 team

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, including this team's photo.

The CG4 team came to visit Caltech in June. Vivian Hoette brought two hearing impaired and one visually impaired student, and each of those students came with an additional educator escort to help with interpretation. The entire group is pictured here.


  • [The best thing about the summer trip was that] Personally, I felt like being at Caltech was like "See you can be in the thick of this!" kind of feeling of discovering new things.
  • [student:] "Real" astronomy involves much more than simply looking at stars, it requires hours of searching, calculating, analyzing, and rechecking data.
  • [The best thing about the summer trip was] Watching hearing-impaired students guide their interpreters through their description of a newly discovered APT bug with the software developer Russ Laher was fascinating. They were able to accurately describe what they perceived was a problem and he was able to correct it on the spot.
  • [student:] I always thought just from programs on tv and in the classroom that astronomy was more or less completely figured out. Learning that it isn't is pretty exciting.
  • Of the many astronomy programs I've been associated with over the years, the NITARP program is the most authentic. Working side by side with Luisa, Russ and Varoujan allows teachers and students to learn what is "real astronomy" is. Many science teachers begin the year with a discussion of the "scientific method." Our group modeled just that -- Starting with a problem, researching background papers, submitting a research proposal, analyzing authentic data, and drawing conclusions models the scientific process in real life.

Summer Visit - 2010 - CG4 team