• 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:



  • I am trying to make my astronomy class more discussion-based and trying to make it more inquiry-based. I was able to network with other teachers and got some ideas of how to move away from lecture. Although lecture has some usefulness I really want to try to be more inquiry driven.
  • For astronomy, I underestimated the amount of data analysis and programming required compared to observation skills. It seems like introductory high school and college courses cover a good amount of content but not the relevant research skills.
  • To be able to be a part of actual scientific research is what science education is all about. From a teacher perspective how can we prepare the next round of scientists if we do not have first hand knowledge of what scientists do? With this opportunity, we can involve students in the research process and give them a better understanding of how scientific research is done -- thus preparing them for their own future discoveries.
  • Watching the kids from different schools interact was one of my favorite parts of this experience that I completely didn’t anticipate. The kids came from totally different worlds and they had a commonality (loving astronomy/ research, and being nerds) but otherwise their lives weren’t necessarily similar. This is a huge benefit of the NITARP program, and although not a stated program goal, I believe it has tremendous value.
  • [student:] I think one of the most interesting things I did was having conversations with college students and their posters. The reality of the experience was more than I could have imagined, having the opportunity to have one to one conversations with people making substantial research in the field was more than what I expected.

AAS - 2019