• IPAC

AAS - 2019

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 2018 and 2019 NITARP teams attended the 2019 January AAS meeting in Seattle, WA. The 2018 class was presenting results and the 2019 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:

2018 Teams:

NITARP Management:

Returning Alumni Teams:



  • NITARP has impacted my own development of and participation in professional learning experiences because I’ve seen first hand how important it is to be “in” the experience. You truly learn best by doing and NITARP provides that in a way most other programs I’ve participated in do not.
  • My thoughts about astronomy in general, and NITARP in particular, have changed throughout the [several years] with which I have been involved with NITARP. When I first started, I was only vaguely aware that astronomers used large archival databases with which to do their research—I was sort of the mind-set that most of them still collected their own data in some fashion, either with a telescope or some sort of orbiting observatory. I now know that that is definitely not the case. Also, I always felt that I had a good working knowledge of astronomy and how things were done—after my time in NITARP I know that that was not always true— my NITARP experience has expanded both my knowledge and my capabilities by a tremendous amount. I’m now able to undertake projects, both personally and with my students, that I would have been unable to do just a few years ago.
  • NITARP is going to be hard to top. It’s not just a day long or week long passive PD program where information is given to you but an authentic research experience. I don’t really know what else is out there like this but I’d like to find it and do it.
  • [student:] [NITARP is] truly a once in a lifetime experience. The friendships and connects that I made throughout this program would have never happened without it. It truly opens students to new experiences and helps them figure out what they want to do later in life. Along with that, AAS was a massive learning experience for anyone with an interest in astronomy. It’s just at a level of knowledge that you can’t get while in high school without this opportunity.
  • It is programs like this that have kept me in the teaching profession, have taught me to be am more effective teacher, and should be replicated in all fields and at all levels in all schools. If they really want to increase student success and have our students ready for the workforce and college we have to be providing them – and more importantly their teachers – with the experience in the ‘real world’. Teacher prep programs are out of touch with reality and do not provide the needed exposure or training to help them help our students succeed. Students are worn down with testing and high-pressure curriculum heavy course work that doesn’t develop innovation, support curiosity, or inspire. We need to change the system for all at all levels with cooperation between educators and other fields – and start treating teachers as professionals equal to engineers, nurses, writers, biologists, business managers, etc. We need innovative programs like this to make real change in our educational system.

AAS - 2019