• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2022 - fIRes

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 fIRes team came to visit in July 2022. The 5 core team educators attended, plus 9 students.


  • One of the best things was being able to take two students from our small, rural, school in Appalachia and watch them fearlessly ask questions, struggle, work hard, and thrive in the environment at Caltech. They also successfully navigated the challenges of traveling and temporarily living in a new place One of my two students had never flown before, which is likely not a rare condition for a NITARP student, but no one in his immediate family had ever flown before.
  • [student:] The most surprising thing I saw and didn't know was the sheer amount of data these telescopes gather. There were billions of sources with multiple different types of information gathered on each source.
  • My advice for teachers is to allow students space to formulate their own ideas. Students need the opportunity to struggle and make mistakes alongside their teacher. It’s okay not to be the expert - it’s meaningful to model struggling right along with your students.
  • The importance of building a team relationship is the key to success. The benefits of working together at Caltech include being able to immediately receive feedback from the mentor astrophysicist and the other participants as well as being able to ask questions that occur organically in the midst of a conversation.
  • [student:] An astronomer requires a large work ethic. The thing about space is that not all questions have an answer. You have to work towards a finish line that you can't see and that may not even be there. Perseverance is a huge part of it too!

Summer Visit - 2022 - fIRes