• 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 inspires and empowers relevant and rigorous STEM curricular creativity. Teachers learn to use the same assets and tools as scientist, gain experience with scientific research culture and come away with the ability to lead their students in a research opportunity.
  • The NGSS writers knew we, as a country, needed to re-focus our science standards to include all science disciplines, specifically astronomy. In order to keep the momentum, we must support the pK-12 educators to entice and excite their students. It is experiences exactly like NITARP that fuels and spreads the love for astronomy
  • 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.
  • It’s really something to get to sit there and hear scientists announce brand new discoveries, especially when they were announcing new exoplanets that had been found. The main thing that surprised me was just how vast the field of astronomy is, and that not everyone is an expert in everything. It made me feel a lot better about all the things I didn’t know. I was constantly writing down things to look up later, especially the meaning of various acronyms.
  • This will be a tough professional development to beat. Not only did I make a great network with other educators, but it reinforced the importance of inquiry-based learning and the importance of there not always being an answer.

AAS - 2019