[..]this experience for the students was golden. Having the chance to share this opportunity for learning with my students is by far the best thing that came out of the project.
The experience I had at the 2012 AAS meeting as well as the entire NITARP experience will change the way I teach astronomy. Having spent 5 days meeting and discussing authentic scietific research with so many people from many different facilities was extremely rejuvinating as an educator.
We had a staff meeting this morning and the kids presented our research and shared our experiences to the entire staff. They did an outstanding job and many of our teachers have commented to me how impressed they were by what they did. One of our teachers (and MIT grad) asked a couple of good questions and commented afterward to me he was impressed that they could explain the answer (noting that they were not just number crunching).