• IPAC

AAS - 2018

The Winter American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting is the largest meeting of professional astronomers in the world. NITARP educators attend an AAS first to meet their team, then they go home and work remotely for much of the year, and then attend an AAS to present their results.  At any given AAS, then, we could have two NITARP classes attending - those finishing up, and those getting started. Reload to see a different set of quotes.

The 2017 and 2018 NITARP teams attended the 2018 January AAS meeting in National Harbor, MD. The 2017 class was presenting results and the 2018 class was starting up. We had alumni raise money to come back as well. We sent about 50 people to the AAS and had a grand time. Please see the special article on NITARP at the AAS. All of the posters we presented are here:


  • This experience has completely changed my perception of what astronomers do and what astronomy is. Astronomers work very hard at analyzing data and find multiple approaches to solve a problem. There isn’t a single way to do things, and often, data has to be reduced and manipulated multiple times. It requires exceptional perseverance and creativity.
  • Before becoming a NITARP teacher, I was considering applying to become a science coordinator so that I can have more influence on science education. Now that I am a NITARP alumnus, I am certain I want to be a science coordinator or an educator that teaches other teachers. I feel that because my understanding of the nature of science has been so greatly expanded that I could really help guide other teachers to understand science in a much deeper way.
  • The experience has shown me that astronomy research isn’t all about the pretty images we get to see, it can and I’m sure often does involve things that you never get to actually see.
  • In the context of my regular physics courses, I think I will try to incorporate more ‘current’ science into what we learn about. While essential, most of the physics I teach is hundreds of years old. Giving students insight to what is currently being researched could nudge them toward pursuing science after high school.
  • Beyond my classroom, I see other teachers in the department and school realizing a greater potential regarding what can be done at the secondary level. Much of my activity has led to focused discussions in lieu of our weekly planned in-service time. More teachers are coming around to the idea of engaging students in more real-world science, and the need for our own participation in opportunities for educators to explore modeling and research opportunities.

AAS - 2018