The Dust Mights team will be searching for Galactic sources in the Spitzer Enhanced Imaging Products catalog which have an excess amount of infrared light and whose distances are known from Gaia observations.
NITARP is without a doubt one of the two most valuable pieces of professional development work I have done in 25 years of teaching, and by far the most rewarding content-related work. I think that what you are doing is really unusual and valuable.
High school students are hungry for authentic research experiences, and both high school teachers and students benefit immensely from having contact with a professional astronomer. This may seem inefficient (because it costs a lot of money to connect individuals with professionals), but it can change lives, and there are wonderful ripple effects.
This experience convinced me even further that I can push myself to learn even more each and every day. I started out feeling very overwhelmed and unprepared last year. I forced myself to work through my unease and wound up much more comfortable. I learned that astronomers are much more down-to-earth than I envisioned a lot of them to be and so many of them are very willing to go out of their way to explain things when we have questions.