• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2013 - They Might Be Giants

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 "They Might Be Giants" team came to visit in August 2013. The core team educators attended, plus 6 students.


  • [student:] The most surprising thing was that I gained a renewed interest in space-stuff!
  • [student:] The best part was the time spent in the room researching. I actually enjoyed listening to people talk and use mathematical/scientific terms as if they were casual parts of everyday conversation. It was really fun after a lifetime of students grumbling "I'll never need this in real life, why are we learning this?".
  • [student:] I didn't know that there was going to be so much math in astronomy!
  • [The best thing about the trip was} Doing real science. I can't say enough how much I value the opportunity NITARP has given me to be part of real astronomy research for the first time in my career. Bringing back the knowledge, the feeling of not knowing, the drive to continue to find an answer and the skills that I needed to work in a group will be so helpful to me and my students.
  • [student:] My mental image of an astronomer before this trip was just a person in the woods with telescope looking at planets in viewing parties. After, I learned how they're actually pretty funny people who get to work in amazing observatories worldwide and see things that no one else gets to see first. I also didn't really think astronomy was a big part of science, but seeing how everything was interrelated at JPL and Mt. Wilson and just looking around the Caltech campus made me realize how central it actually is. I want to be an engineer, and this just made me want to be the kind of engineer that makes space robots to research planets and stars.

Summer Visit - 2013 - They Might Be Giants