So many of us science teachers do labs where the end is known (which is sometimes necessary to make sure they fit in a class period and that the students understand the concept we're trying to learn) but that's not really science.
Some of my students will be benefiting directly [from my AAS trip] as I currently have 7 students interested in being part of our research team for NITARP. My first day back from the conference I spent the class time sharing with them the exciting news regarding exoplanet research from Dr. Marcy's presentation on Monday as well as a discussion on YSOs and the likely direction that our project will take.
The most interesting thing I did was to discuss the learning experience with the students who participated in last year’s project. Being in the final stage of their experience and reflecting on that process was the most fun for me. I truly enjoyed the sense of accomplishment they had gained while engaged in the experience. They were proud of themselves and seemed to be waiting for more.