• IPAC

AAS - 2020

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 2019 and 2020 NITARP teams attended the 2020 January AAS meeting in Honolulu, HI. The 2019 class was presenting results and the 2020 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:

2019 Teams:

NITARP Management:

Returning Alumni Teams:


  • My biggest takeaway is to actually be on the receiving end of constructivist education. The experience was frustrating, intimidating, and … extremely fulfilling. I have learned a lot of things through this experience. I will be more cognizant of helping students through their frustrations and being open about wanting to help them learn. I plan on integrating our research into my science and education classes. I purchased a FLIR and made an infrared lab using the device for my physics course. I will also be better able to explain more aspects of astronomy and careers associated with the field.
  • This experience has increased my self-efficacy. I know now that I can do it. I know that sounds funny but I have a renewed sense of ability and drive. I think I had lulled myself into “good enough” and this experience has shown me what is possible.
  • I feel very privileged to have been a part of the NITARP experience as well as other opportunities I have had with NASA in education. This is one of the many benefits to the education field, the chance to work with professionals in other fields so that we can bring knowledge and experiences gained into our classrooms for students to see.
  • We did not anticipate getting all of the way through our selection process and then find that a crucial step used invalid data! But it was very satisfying to step back, and figure out a process that would give us useful results in the end. It was a great way to experience for ourselves the fact that it is normal to encounter obstacles in research.
  • I was intimidated at the start of this project because I felt like many of the people on my team and people that I saw present at the AAS last year knew more than me. But, after the whole experience is now completed, I have learned that the area of astronomy is so vast that no one is an expert on everything. I learned to appreciate the skills/knowledge that I brought to the team as well as everything that I learned from my teammates.

AAS - 2020