• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2018 - Cosmic DIRt

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 Cosmic dIRt team came to visit in June 2018. The core team educators attended, plus 10 students.


  • [...] it was so much fun talking about science incessantly in a world where that isn't always socially appropriate.
  • Our group is absolutely changed [by the summer visit], especially in terms of engagement from the kids who are now absolutely psyched and won’t stop texting me about wanting to do more research.
  • I feel like my kids developed a much deeper understanding of the subject material by having the discussions we did and practicing with the group. It was really cool to see how the kids all came and worked together on this project. I think that bonding experience will help make the research easier since we are more comfortable with each other, it will be easier to share ideas and speak up when something doesn't feel quite right.
  • [student:] I think that the most important quality for an astronomer to have other than the obvious (intelligence, writes well, etc.) is perseverance. Because no matter how smart you are or how much research you have done, eventually you will get to the point where there is something that you simply just don't understand. However, being an astronomer means pushing through those difficulties and working at the problem until you have solved it, which is exactly what perseverance is.
  • I think just watching the kids interact surprised me -- they had a lot in common but were also really different. I was surprised at how much they learned from each other.

Summer Visit - 2018 - Cosmic DIRt