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Because the technical advisor and teacher maintain separate Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF) accounts, it is necessary to build a bridge between the two for the purpose of information sharing. This process is called Project Linking. Once project linking is complete, the technical advisor gains access to the project information through his or her login and can fill out the Progress Report and Final Process Evaluation. In sum, project linking facilitates communication between the team and the advisor. Technical advisors and teachers are responsible for ensuring that they link projects appropriately.

The project linking process can involve three different methods of contact between the teacher and (potential or committed) technical advisor: the Advisor Authorization, Advisor Request, and Technical Advisor Pool.

Advisor Authorization: Teacher to Technical Advisor

If the student team contacted the technical advisor, he or she agreed to join the team beforehand, and the teacher sent an authorization to the technical advisor, there are two options:

  • Option 1: If the email address that the technical advisor used to setup an account and the email address to which the teacher sent the request are the same:

    • The project will appear on the technical advisor's "Project List" with an "Accept/Reject" button on the far right side. 

    • Click this button and then push "Accept."

  • Option 2: If the email addresses are not the same or there is some other reason that Option 1 is not viable: 

    • The "ISTF Advisor Authorization" email contains the Project Number and the "Project Verification Code." 

    • Click "Add Project." 

    • On the next screen, under "Accept a Teacher's Request to be a Technical Advisor," click the "Accept a Request" button.

    • Enter the appropriate information and submit.

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Advisor Request: Technical Advisor to Teacher

If the student team or teacher contacted the technical advisor by email and he or she knows the ISTF Project number, the technical advisor can initiate a request to the teacher in order to link with the team:

  • Click "Add Project." 

  • Under the "Request to be a Technical Advisor" heading, click the "Initiate a Request" button.

  • Enter the three-digit (project) number in the "ISTF Team #" field.
    Then enter any comments that might help the teacher in the textbox below.

  • Click "Request."

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Technical Advisor Pool: Technical Advisor to Teacher

In an effort to assist teams with the difficult task of locating technical advisors, the ISTF staff invites practicing professionals from various organizations to setup accounts and make themselves available. These professionals join those who found the program on their own in the ISTF Technical Advisor Pool, which is merely a name for the group of technical advisors who are not linked with teams and were not originally solicited by teams.

If the technical advisor sets up an account and requires assistance finding a project that relates to his or her specific subject matter expertise, he or she should:

  • Click the "Profile Setup" button and complete the steps involved.

  • Click the "View Matches" button (page displays a list of projects that relate to the selected NCT areas).

  • Access additional information about possible projects.

  • Send one or more project inquiries to the team teacher(s) containing questions and comments to elicit supplementary project details.

  • Exchange information with the teacher(s), which may or may not result in the technical advisor joining the team.

  • Commit to as many teams as he or she can reasonably and fully assist as a technical advisor during the remaining program duration.

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