• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2012 - C-WAYS

The summer visit to Caltech is 3-4 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 C-WAYS team came to visit in July 2012. The core team educators attended, plus 12 students, and two additional scientists.  Dr. JD Armstrong (LCOGT/UH) and Dr. Babar Ali (IPAC) also assissted.


  • I personally found our open ended instruction sessions the most inspiring. As all team members struggle to program spreadsheets correctly and produce accurate plots, teachers and students shouted across the room asking questions, comparing answers and finding success. It was great when students and teachers compared results, found differences and then went back and problem solved. It was especially pleasing when student results turned out to be the correct results and they then helped their teacher see the error of their ways.
  • Real astronomy isn't just looking through a telescope and jotting down notes. It involves using data from multiple resources, performing calculations, and making judgments about what is being observed. On the trip, I expected to be working with information from telescopes, but I was not expecting the large amount of conversions that needed to be done.
  • [This] is such an amazing opportunity that not many can say they've had, and I'm honored to be a part of it.
  • This has made me re-think what I want to do in college and my future.
  • While a lot of astronomy is done by computer, nothing compares to having a human look over the data. [..] This is a really good reminder to students who blindly accept what the calculator/computer spits out without checking to see if the answer makes sense.

Summer Visit - 2012 - C-WAYS