• 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 confused a great deal during the process! I honestly think that it is EXTRAORDINARILY hard to NOT get confused/frustrated during this! With the help of my teammates, I did work through it in a timely manner. Honestly, I loved being confused. I knew that finding the answer to the question that plagued me would help farther along. I got more than enough support! I liked being able to ask questions, and, yes, I could definitely still use the support!
  • I think it was really important for us to spend a substantial amount of time together, get to know one another, struggle with concepts together, and work toward a common goal. Online hangouts are a decent (and cheaper $ !) substitute, but can’t replace face to face interaction and problem solving. Also, physically being at a college campus or at JPL is a powerful experience for our students. I expected our group to feel more cohesive after the trip and I definitely think we left California as a stronger team.
  • I really enjoyed the role of the artists and computer savvy in communicating the science. Astronomers have done a great job of improving the communication and education through various visual representations.
  • [student:] I think the most interesting thing we did was the photometry. I love being able to learn so much from just a few numbers and using some math.
  • [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!

Summer Visit - 2017 - CephC:LABS