• IPAC

AAS - 2010

The Winter American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting is the largest meeting of professional astronomers in the world. NITARP educators attend an AAS first to meet their team, then they go home and work remotely for much of the year, and then attend an AAS to present their results.  At any given AAS, then, we could have two NITARP classes attending - those finishing up, and those getting started. However since this year marked the first year of the program under the NITARP name, only the 2010 class attended. Reload to see a different set of quotes.

The brand new 2010 NITARP teams attended the 2010 January AAS meeting in Washington, DC. This started the first official year of NITARP!

For many of the new NITARP educators, it was their first AAS ever. They all had a great time, and learned a LOT.  The 14 teachers are spread among 4 teams, and they went home from the AAS to start work on their proposals, which were due in to IPAC in mid-February.


  • I attended the NSF information and Q&A Session. It was interesting to me as I sat and listened to the description of NSF funding structure, bureaucracy and the various pipelines moneys were traveling through, that my vicarious life in politics gave me a real context on which to perch the information. It all sort of made sense and I could visualize some of the political forces that were hinted at but never made explicit. The level of anticipation and the fact that it was a full if not packed ballroom made me more aware of this “other life” of research astronomy.
  • What a fun meeting! I felt like I got to meet a lot of people and learn some cool things, and think about how to best educate people. It feels like a lot of people with a common goal, very connected and leaving was kind of sad, like separation. Other than my group, I did not run into another NITARP teacher after Sunday; I don’t think I realized how big this conference was.
  • I was frankly amazed at how many posters were presented. This suggests to me that there are many different questions that need resolution in astronomy! (I have been telling this to my students!)
  • Learned exactly what we would be doing and got scared to death. I am not smart enough to do this project. I'm lucky I have a great team to work with.
  • I visited with several people in the education field and stopped by many posters. One of these conversations I had was with one of the advisors of one of the grad students. When I told him I was a teacher, he shared with me an area in which he sees incoming freshman as being very weak. It has to do with data tables and graphing. He said these incoming freshman students have difficulty with understanding x and y axis, dependent the independent variables and then transferring the data into a graph. I was shocked because I really try to incorporate data collection, analysis/interpretation, and graphing in everything done. This is something I can be aware of and really reinforce in my room and when I teach other teachers.

AAS - 2010