Teachers

Welcome to the Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF)! Here are summaries of information to help participating teachers, especially new participating teachers, with the time preparing, during, completing the ISTF and the Teacher FAQs.

Preparing

Preparing for participation in the ISTF involves several tasks. Below is a brief outline of these tasks. For more detailed information, see Team Members - Teachers.
  • Review the ISTF Website
  • Develop an ISTF Work Plan
    • Incorporate the ISTF as graded or ungraded and as an in-class or after-school activity.
    • Identify student participants and assign teams.
    • Recruit other school personnel (like the technology coordinator) that can help.
  • Choose (and/or assist students in choosing) Project Focus
    • Read the Content and Format Guidelines for the teams' grade level(s).
      NOTE: Ninth grade teachers may choose to follow either middle or high school guidelines. Remember to correctly identify which guidelines the team(s) will use when you enroll your student team(s).
    • Review the National Critical Technologies (NCTs).
    • Develop the two main elements of the project focus, which are:
      • Problem (community, national, or global problem)
      • Solution (NCT technical application that could solve the problem)
      • Important:  Narrowing the project focus is one of the most important tasks in the competition.  Too often, student teams develop a project focus that is too general and cannot be accomplished in the time allotted. 
  • Setup an ISTF Teacher Account - [NOTE:  Teachers accomplish all project management tasks (for example: Progress Reports, URL submittal, and Final Process Evaluations) through their accounts.]
    • Go to the "My ISTF" page
    • Under "Teachers/Facilitators," click "New"
    • Enter the required information
      NOTE: Teachers that are interested in the program and still unsure whether they will participate can setup accounts to receive ISTF information and updates and/or use it later to enroll student teams. All ISTF Accounts are free of cost.
  • Enroll each student team/project through ISTF Teacher Account (Enrolled teams will appear in the "Project List.")
    • You will need each teamís:
    • You must also obtain permission from the principal of your school (or director of your educational organization) to have the student teamís final project website hosted from February to the end of May.
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During

Teachers manage continuing responsibilities during the ISTF program cycle. Below is a brief outline of these responsibilities. For more detailed information, see Team Members - Teachers.
  • Help Student Team Find a Technical Advisor
    • To accomplish this task, teachers can:
      • Tap their contacts in the local community
      • Invite parents of team members
      • Advise students to search on the Internet and email corporations, research laboratories, professional associations, and other related organizations
    • Once a technical advisor agrees to join the team, please ensure that he or she sets up an ISTF Technical Advisor Account by accessing "My ISTF".
    • Complete the Project Linking process.
  • Communicate with the Team's Technical Advisor
    • Teachers may decide to:
      • Correspond with the technical advisor (act as an intermediary) and then brief students or,
      • Allow the students to correspond directly with the technical advisor without teacher involvement.
  • Ensure that Teams Adhere to the Content and Format Guidelines
    • Teachers are encouraged to: 
      • Review the guidelines with students
      • Assign the students to read the guidelines themselves
      • Evaluate the final project website and check it against the guidelines before submitting the URL
  • Manage the Project
    • Schedule regular meetings with students to review their progress
    • Update information when necessary through the ISTF Teacher Account
    • Complete the Progress Report (Please see the Schedule.)
    • Recruit other teachers or school computer/network personnel if the team needs assistance
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Completing

Completing participation in the ISTF Program involves lighter duty. Below are the basic steps for completion. For more detailed information, see Team Members - Teachers.
  • Submit Team URLs (Please see the Schedule.)
    • Teachers should:
      • Check the final project websites for errors, guideline adherence, and technical problems
      • Ensure that the URL is a working link (as best they can)
      • Access their ISTF Teacher Accounts to submit URLs
  • Complete Final Process Evaluations-FPEs (Please see the Schedule.)
    • Teachers should:
      • Access their ISTF Teacher Accounts to complete Final Process Evaluations (FPE)
      • Ensure that students and technical advisors login and fill-out their FPEs
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