• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2012 - UBOKO

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 UBOKO team came to visit in August 2012. The core team educators attended, plus 10 students.



  • This experience made me realize that sitting in a room for several hours doing research did not necessarily have to feel like work. This improved my opinion of astronomy even further by making me realize just how much I enjoyed it.
  • Regarding teaching, I will change how I teach stellar spectra. I haven't been emphasizing blackbodies enough, and I have been too focused on the kind of spectra you get out of a spectrograph. As I walked around at the AAS [last winter], I realized that SEDs are widespread (and not covered at all in most astronomy textbooks) and lightcurves are very common too. I will place more emphasis on these two topics in the future.
  • It was very rewarding to be able to talk with astronomers who were willing to answer my (many) questions. Educators rarely have an opportunity to talk to professionals to hone their knowledge base once they finish school. I'm afraid I grabbed them every chance I got!
  • I didn't know just how much data is publicly available. Anyone can do astronomy - you just need to come up with a question and figure out how to use the archives.
  • The best thing about the [summer] trip was being able to learn in a room where everyone wanted to be there and had the same level of excitement about astronomy.

Summer Visit - 2012 - UBOKO