• 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.


  • [student:] Astronomers have to be incredibly patient. They can’t be deterred by failure because failing and having to start again is inevitable.
  • [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:] The most important quality [of an astronomer] has to be patience. I did astronomy work for four days and I found myself being frustrated quite often. But it takes time to learn from your mistakes and hence patience is an important quality for an astronomer, or any scientist for that matter.
  • [student:] Real astronomy is mostly looking at data and numbers. I didn’t realize we would be using so much math these last few months, so it’s important to remember how closely math and science correlate.
  • 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.

Summer "Visit" - 2020 - Spider Team