• 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.
  • [student:] When we first started working on learning the science behind our project, I felt doubtful of my own abilities and my previous knowledge. I was the only rising junior out of the students, and because I had never taken an astronomy course, or a math course that dealt with logarithms, I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to understand, and that I would be alone in this. However, I was supported by all participants, soon realizing that we were all in it together, and was able to gain an significant understanding of the material.
  • Getting to work with people who are genuinely interested in science research and want to talk about it as much as I do was fantastic.
  • [student:] We were analyzing real data from Spitzer and drawing our own conclusions. This is exactly what I expected would be part of scientific research. The analysis and manipulation of raw data from the universe around us to make our own conclusions about how the universe works and what's in it. And to me, the fact that I am able to be involved in that process is beyond amazing.
  • 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