University of Central Florida
April 30, 2003
Out of an initial field of 214 elementary, middle and high school student teams from 12 states and two countries, students from schools in New Jersey, California and Florida captured top awards in the 7th annual Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF). Student teams publish their final research reports in a web page format, which shows their technical solution to a real-world problem. They apply critical thinking skills, use information technology tools, and research via the Internet.
The winning teams in the competition were from:
Mainland High School, Daytona Beach, FL, for a project that researched an airfoil that will be kept at an ideal camber through the use of piezoelectric actuators so that its optimal efficiency can be attained.
Bergen County Academies, Hackensack, NJ, for four projects that included the use of photonic crystals to make more efficient optical circuits that one day may be applied to the construction of an optical computer; researching the use of a patch that can administer various medications, including insulin; exploring the use of gene therapy to fix internal computer problems; and examining a head-mounted audio/video system designed for entertainment that can be worn in an MRI machine or during radiation therapy.
Valley Christian Junior High School, San Jose, California, for a project that researched the use of dietary lollipops that would decrease hunger and help obese people lose weight.
In addition to the six teams that won the highest award from the National Medal of Technology Program of the U.S. Department of Commerce, nine other teams earned Honorable Mention Certificates from the University of Central Florida's (UCF) College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS), host institution for the ISTF. All winners and their projects are viewable at http://istf.ucf.edu/Winners/.
"The students who participated deserve our recognition because the Internet Science and Technology Fair is, by any definition, a real-world challenge," said Martin Wanielista, Dean of UCF's College of Engineering and Computer Science.
The fair teaches students how to team, communicate and manage electronic information sources. Each team applies National Critical Technologies as defined by the U.S. Government to local and national problems using only the Internet and e-mail. They communicate with subject matter experts and present their four-month research reports in web site format.
According to Bruce Furino, director of the ISTF, this year's fair elicited scores of positive responses from participating students, teachers and professionals who served as subject matter experts. One teacher said he found it to be, ďa fantastic way for students to learn about so many things, from finding out what is involved in science research to working in a group." Furino also noted that a technical advisor applauded the program, stating the ISTF "is a great way for students to explore areas that they would not consider otherwise."
Students, though, were the biggest beneficiaries. One said it, "Made me experience hard work and allowed me to see that I could be a person who could one day make a difference."
According to Furino, the 8th annual ISTF competition is slated to start in September 2003. Interested teachers, practicing professionals, parents and others are encouraged to provide contact and general information at http://istf.ucf.edu/EnrollAdmin/ to receive program updates via e-mail.