The experience has changed my understanding of astronomy and how it is done, but not of astronomers.
The AAS conference is a factory for knowledge and truth about the Universe. As David Helfand, president of the society said in his opening remarks, “We do astronomy because it defines us as human beings”. I’m just now truly beginning to understand.
My NITARP experience has made me rethink my entire approach to science education. Many of my students expect me to do the work and pretty much hand it to them all wrapped up and neat. Science education must involve a great deal of discovery by the student and not a string of topics with definitions.