• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2015 - IC417

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 IC417 team came to visit in June 2015. The core team educators attended, plus 8 students.


  • Astronomy research often involves using public astronomy archives, and sometimes it only involves using archives. Success in astronomy is not just a result of brilliance (though brilliance doesn’t hurt). Success also requires quite a bit of persistence.
  • [student:] An astronomer must never stop asking questions.
  • I was impressed by the many different paths that a career in astronomy can take, from engineering to PR jobs to theoretical science.
  • [student:] JPL was so cool and the history behind it was fascinating, as well as getting to see models of telescopes, satellites, and the Mars Curiosity. It was very inspiring to see other scientists’ work and how science applies to real life, which has reinforced my decision to study science (most likely physics) in university, which will be very soon.
  • [student:] The best thing about this trip was when Luisa was presenting a slide show to us and said, “Remember. There is no answer in the back of the book. This has never been done before. So do it right.” It really opened my eyes as to the immense amount of responsibility and trust was being put on us high school kids. I’m barely halfway through my educational career and there has never been a time where someone, somewhere, didn’t have a cheat sheet or answer code. It’s completely humbling and uplifting to have to do your own work, with the knowledge that you are in a building where people do it every day and love it.

Summer Visit - 2015 - IC417