• 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.


  • "Real astronomy" is diving into the unknown. Asking a question that does not have an answer yet and trying to solve it. That's what we did. We are trying something completely new and I love how I don't know what were going to get. That is real science. We can do labs, but often times, they are done with expected answers. [This experience wasn't that at all.]
  • Doing research just generates more questions rather than resolving them!
  • The most important thing I learned is that doing astronomical research is easily doable by anyone, anywhere who is inspired to do so. You don’t need to have your own telescope or even to go to an observatory. You can access archival images, photometry, and other data for just about any question you might have regarding not only galaxies, but so much more. Tools are being created and refined by NASA and its outreach programs all the time that allow students and regular citizens to participate in authentic research. The sky is no longer the limit! I will be able to engage my students in our own projects like this. Our only limit will be our ability to come up with questions.
  • [student:] I have found that astronomy is much more than peering through telescopes. Astronomers analyze data collected from various instruments and observatories to either prove a theory or to make new ways to explain the universe.
  • 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.

Summer Visit - 2013 - CM4Sy