• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2013 - CM4Sy

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. Reload to see a different set of quotes.

The CM4Sy team came to visit in July 2013. The core team educators attended, plus 11 students.


  • I was least surprised to see how well the students got along with each other. I was fully expecting them to enjoy meeting other students similarly afflicted with a love for science. In small schools it can be difficult for strong minds to stretch their wings without being “clipped” by the rest of the student body. Programs like this allow students to build support networks that encourage them to more vigorously pursue their interests.
  • [student:] It seems that many people believe that astronomers are either extremely geeky people who live with their noses buried deep in their computers and whiteboards or people who chart stars by looking through telescopes all night. In reality, they are people who are very smart, love their jobs, and are extremely excited to share their work with others. I did expect to be working with computers (particularly Excel), but I was grateful for the history of our project and the ability to learn more about our project before diving straight into the more complicated aspects. For example, plotting all the data we were given was much harder and took longer than I had formerly expected.
  • The best thing about the trip was the chance to interact with others who are trying to do the same things that I am trying to do. No one else around me tries to do student research (even though I have tried to get other teachers involved), not in my district nor in any of the surrounding ones. It was great to spend time with other teachers (and their students) who are trying to accomplish the same things that I am trying to do.
  • [student:] I’d say that the best thing about this trip was the people that we were with for the week. I’ve met so many amazing people who have honestly changed my life. I’ve made strong friendships with all of my group mates and the classmates that I came here with. Everyone was so friendly and great. I also loved how the work was very hands on and not through a textbook. It gave me a chance to really explore the work field that we were in.
  • [The best thing was] Working with everyone. It was a great experience to work with the whole team from around the country in conjunction with the astronomer. The team working, collaboration and excitement was contagious and motivating. We had such an amazing experience working together. This has truly been on of the most amazing trips simply because we had an amazing group of students, teachers and astronomer to work with.

Summer Visit - 2013 - CM4Sy