• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2014 - HG-WELS

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 HG-WELS team came to visit in July 2014. The core team educators attended, plus 10 students.



  • Qualities of an astronomer: DILIGENCE! Patience, meticulousness, creativity, patience, knowledgeable, motivation, patience…
  • [student:] I was surprised to learn that we didn’t have the results we thought we were going to have. I also wasn’t expecting to do so much Excel work, but I was glad we did because it was a great opportunity to learn.
  • I am surprised with where our analysis has brought us thus far. I know the results are going a very different direction than expected, but I think that's awesome and it's a cool feeling knowing we have already begun to find results that potentially debunk former ones—not bad for a few students and teachers!
  • Theoretically the work could have been done online, but the students really needed the hands-on help and explanations, as they had never been exposed to those units or the deep details of importing and working with data in Excel. They also needed the feeling of community, of meeting other students with similar interests from other schools, and the sense of identity and recognition the summer visit gave them. If they had done this only online, it would not have had the same degree of impact or motivation for them. [...] Working directly with scientists at the Spitzer Science Center gives them a chance to know what real scientific research is like. They are all very excited for the AAS trip, which will give them even more exposure to real science and scientists.
  • [student:] One of the best things about the trip was really getting to look through the data and make the graphs, so that the results of our study were visually apparent. It was like the ‘Aha!’ moment.

Summer Visit - 2014 - HG-WELS