• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2013 - C-CWEL

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 "C-CWEL" team came to visit in August 2013. The core team educators attended, plus 11 students.


  • This week at Caltech was the greatest opportunity of my career. It was an experience that was humbling and at the same time gave me confidence. I cannot thank the NITARP program enough for the professional development, the professional relationships I've grown, and the inspiration. Thank you NITARP! Please keep this educational program going.
  • [student:] I thought that scientific research would be complex and complicated, but this exceeds that to a whole new level.
  • I think the best part about the trip and NITARP as a whole is the chance to do authentic research and learn the methods and techniques used to tease as much information out of the data as possible. It still amazes me (and this is what I try to instill in the students in my astronomy classes) that we can learn so much from a tiny point of light if we are just cleaver enough to know how to look at it.
  • [student:] I felt like I came out of the trip with a ton of skills related to our project, but it also provided me with a greater curiosity about manipulating my computer and assorted programs. I realized that I knew nothing about computers beyond how to write essays on one and surf blogs. However, after this experience I became more curious about programming.
  • For students, I think they need to understand that the project is ultimately ad investigation into something brand new – there is not right or wrong, clear end point, or place to check your work. They also need to remember that this is real research – not a basic lab or pull out session – there is real work that lasts longer than 55 min at a stretch and takes dedicated brain effort. Also not to be upset if wrong from time to time – it is all part of the process and a great learning opportunity.

Summer Visit - 2013 - C-CWEL