• 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.


  • [student:] Cool research doesn’t always require incredibly complicated math/science.
  • “Real astronomy” is like detective work. It requires gathering the available evidence, integrating it, and following it where it leads.
  • [...] the community of teachers has been an unexpected and positive outcome of this program. I text the other physics teachers all the time to be like "hey, how do you teach this?" and then we chat about it. We also chat about our lives and things non NITARP/ teaching. Seeing these teachers in person was like a visit with my favorite science pen pals who live parallel lives in other states.
  • [student:] I didn't expect astronomy to have so much computing in it. It makes sense now, because it would be hard to talk to space telescopes and rovers without them.
  • [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.

Summer Visit - 2018 - Cosmic DIRt