[at the 2013 AAS,] I was always struck by the focus on ensuring the data is real and using modeling to create templates when classifying objects or processes.
Many science teachers begin the year with a discussion of the “scientific method.” Our group modeled just that … Starting with a problem, researching background papers, submitting a research proposal, analyzing authentic data, and drawing conclusions models the scientific process in real life.
The best thing about the trip was the chance to interact with others who are trying to do the same things that I am trying to do. No one else around me tries to do student research (even though I have tried to get other teachers involved), not in my district nor in any of the surrounding ones. It was great to spend time with other teachers (and their students) who are trying to accomplish the same things that I am trying to do.