History & Growth

Sponsored Projects



The Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF) was created to afford pre-college students in grades three (3) through twelve (12) an opportunity to experience the excitement of researching solutions to real-world problems involving science, engineering and other technical fields of study. Students primarily use information and communication technology tools to conduct their on-line investigations. They work as a team, communicate with professionals, apply science inquiry and present their research findings in a professional manner. These experiences help students build individual and collaborative study and work skills. The scientists, engineers, doctors, researchers, and technicians of tomorrow reside in the classrooms of today. The ISTF provides teachers with a means to integrate on-line science, technology, and engineering into their curricula and help their students realize the possibilities of technical career futures.


The impending retirement of the baby boomer generation may cost the United States up to 40% of its science and engineering workforce. Because economic competitiveness is directly linked to technology innovation, the United States must support students in their efforts to explore, ponder and pursue technical career possibilities. The accomplishment of this goal requires that teachers in the classroom receive the necessary tools, skills and resources. It also necessitates the involvement of practicing professionals who share their subject matter expertise via mentoring opportunities. 

The ISTF embodies the spirit of technology innovation at the pre-college level, fills a void in the curriculum and will in time contribute to the technical workforce. However, the success of the ISTF Program depends on the involvement of industry, government, professional societies and community organizations. In the next five years, the support of these entities will increase, and the ISTF will become the premiere on-line, science and technology literacy competition, reaching tens of thousands of students across the nation.


The goals of the ISTF program are:

  • inspire students to consider science and engineering careers and better understand the innovation process, 
  • help students develop critical thinking skills and learn to use information technology tools,
  • provide teachers with a tool to incorporate science and engineering into their curricula/classroom, and
  • build an awareness with students and teachers of the importance of science and engineering in our society.