• 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.


  • I was pleasantly shocked by the engagement between all educators and all students. The students, all between the ages of 15 and 17, were engaging not only with the teacher they came with but with all the teachers. They were open to learning new things from educators who they were unfamiliar and at the same time assisting one another and every teacher just the same. Throughout the week everyone ran into problems that needed to be solved. Sometimes it was our veteran mentor who came to the rescue. More often than not it was a student who could educate everyone.
  • [student:] A lot of data analysis was something I expected coming into this trip. However, I don’t believe I expected so much of the data to be so quantitative. This stems from my preconceived notions of astronomy having more to do with the real time viewing of the sky. The other thing I don’t think I expected was using a tool so common as excel to process “real” data. This is because it is so commonplace. It is interesting to see a tool you have been familiar with from a young age used at such a high level, doing things with you didn’t know it was capable of.
  • [student:] By understanding the information that SEDs were providing, I was able to draw conclusions about stars and say whether or not they could possibly be a YSO candidate and that's a pretty cool skill!
  • I saw kids rise to a challenge and meet it – they learned a lot from the process, each other, and the experience – in ways they could not get in a regular classroom setting at home.
  • [student: Advice for others: ] be ready to work! This was an amazing experience, but is not for the faint of heart or those looking for a “summer camp” experience. That being said; do not pass up on this. I had an amazing time, learned a lot, and had fun.

Summer Visit - 2013 - C-CWEL