• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2016 - HIPS AGN

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 HIPS AGN team came to visit in June 2016. The core team educators attended, plus 8 students.


  • [student:] This experience really normalized astronomers as people for me. I always felt that I was never smart enough to be an astronomer, and it was too out of reach for me. But it was so nice to see that everyone faced similar struggles as myself. This experiences helped solidify my goals of working in the field of astronomy, and made the dream seem much more feasible.
  • [student:] A good deal of the information was difficult to process despite relearning it each day. However, it was extremely rewarding when I finally did begin to understand—which was another thing that surprised me. *I* understood college-level astronomy.
  • [student:] I most most surprised by my own capabilities at working on the project. Going into the week, I was worried about not being able to keep up with the workload and being unable to process the information. I was honestly shocked to see that the students as well as the mentors worked at a similar pace, asked the same kind of questions, and were learning alongside of each other, rather than the students just relaying everything done by our mentors.
  • [student:] We understand that our work will not always work out, but giving up or becoming completely frustrated won’t change anything.
  • [student: What qualities do you think are important to be an astronomer?] I think an ability to collaborate with others by sharing your own ideas clearly and being resourceful with others' time and skills is essential. I also think creativity in order to think past unexpected obstacles is important, as well as an ability to make connections (in order to interpret data or draw conclusions). Finally, lots of patience and persistence!

Summer Visit - 2016 - HIPS AGN