• 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:] It was good to have a lot of extra brains working at the same time with different strengths and weaknesses; I felt that we were able to move along as fast as we did because of that.
  • [student:] I thought that research would be isolating and that it wasn’t something I could see myself being interested in for long periods of time, but if I were able to work in a team like this one, I think I could imagine doing research later in life.
  • [student:] The most important/interesting thing I learned was that engineering is more creative than I ever thought. I learned how to do actual research, which was super useful, but going to the JPL and seeing the products of science and engineering together opened my mind to the possibility of being an engineer.
  • I believe most astronomers spend most of their time working with data and not with telescopes themselves [...] I have not experienced working with real data on real ongoing research before. I think the experience gave me a better understanding of what be a scientist is actually about. Especially when I asked if something I had done was correct or not and the answer given was they did not know based on the fact that I was the one determining that and I had to back up what I had done.

Summer Visit - 2015 - IC417