• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2017 - CephC:LABS

The summer visit to Caltech is 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 CephC-LABS team came to visit in June 2017. The core team educators attended, plus 5 students.


  • [student:] I was expecting the most amount of work I have ever done, and I was a little frightened I wouldn’t be able to keep up at all. The work proved to be intense, but not too much.
  • As a teacher who loves doing projects with students, I was in a much different role this time. I have been taught to give quick help, activate students then move away as they engage. When I often want to complete the task and do it for them, that wasn’t what the students needed for growth. This time, I needed to stay engaged in the activity. This might seem subtle, but it was not for me. And usually, my personal projects are self-contrived.
  • [student:] The most important thing I learned was how to accept that I didn't, and wouldn't, understand exactly what I was doing. This was an entirely new experience for me, as I have always been able to grasp some part of a concept I was learning. This was quickly undermined, as I had no idea what I was doing! One of the most interesting things I saw was the complexity of the data we were working with. I LOVED getting to see how the process of genuine science went!
  • [student: Astronomers] do so much critical thinking and have to use their own individual judgement. I wouldn't have imagined that so many different astronomers could get differing answers and still all be technically correct.
  • Astronomy is rad. The way that astronomers use light to understand the universe is clever and math-y. The deepest truths about the universe are earned through patient, creative, sometimes tedious, skeptical scrutiny of data.

Summer Visit - 2017 - CephC:LABS