• IPAC

Summer "Visit" - 2020 - Spider Team

Our regular summer visit to Caltech was hijacked by COVID-19. So we did an online work week instead -- 4 days when all the participants on the team come together to work intensively on the data. Reload to see a different set of quotes.

The Spider Team worked June 22-25, 2020. The 4 core team educators attended, plus 12 students.


  • [the best thing about the week was] Being amazed, again, by the contributions of our students. We teachers are constantly urged to have students work in groups, but that so often fails in real life. Here in NITARP it works – just get out of their way and let them amaze you. Having said that, the best thing was the experience of being a student, of being in a cross-generational community of learning and discovery.
  • [student:] I ended up getting way farther along in the process than I expected. That’s what I appreciated about working in small groups. I found we worked together really well and asked each other for help if we needed it.
  • Getting to work with this group of passionate, curious, and bold individuals as we all experienced the processing of learning how to be a researcher was the best part of the NITARP summer learning experience. Integrating all the separate pieces of knowledge and skills that we developed over the last five months into a tool for forming a new understanding of what is in IC417 felt amazing.
  • [student:] Astronomers definitely have to be hard working and dedicated to their study. They have to be passionate about the data they are working with, and smart enough to understand it well. They also have to be good communicators, as it involves a lot of collaboration with peers. It’s also important that they are good at explaining their findings to the public, such as in a scientific journal.
  • [student:] I discovered that there was more math involved in the work than I assumed there to be.

Summer "Visit" - 2020 - Spider Team