• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2019 - IDYL

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 IDYL team came to visit in July-August 2019. The 4 core team educators attended, plus 5 students.


  • The least surprising was that there are really smart people working at Caltech. I thought that the visit from the other IPAC staff, Luisa's thoughtful guidance during the week, as well as Varoujan's JPL tour, showed this in spades.
  • The second most important and interesting thing was being able to work with EVERYONE in the group. The collaboration between the members of our team was awesome. It was very nice to be in the same room working together to figure things out. I think our team completed a lot of work this week but it really didn’t seem like work because we all came together as a cohesive group. I [..] do not think we could have accomplished so much in just a few short days with just zoom meetings and email.
  • Teamwork definitely helps to make complicated tasks a lot more manageable.
  • This week changed the way I think about astronomy quite a bit and that's sorta what I wanted out of the program when I applied. I'm used to teaching intro astronomy from a textbook and using a lot of simulations as lab activities, but rarely using real data (even in canned activities). My experience [...] a few years back gave me a taste of astronomy research. That is, I got the chance to see data being gathered [...] However, that was where the experience ended. I did not have the opportunity to see how the data was processed or turned eventually into a research paper. This NITARP experience has been a nice complement to my [past] experience and may be a stepping stone for me to do additional research in pursuit of an advanced degree.
  • [student:] The least surprising thing that happened was that it was a lot of work. We were told going in that we were going to work the hardest we might have in all our lives. We did so much work and learned so many new things in such a short span of time.

Summer Visit - 2019 - IDYL