The following will help you prepare for the Internet Science and Technology
Fair (ISTF) Program. Every student should take the time to review each of
the links below to thoroughly understand what is expected. If you have
questions, please ask your teacher to contact the ISTF Program Staff.
(If clicking the arrows does
nothing, you will need to expand all to view)
||Forming a Student Team
||Students must form teams in order to
compete in the Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF).
Although the ISTF has had teams with as small as three
students and as large as a whole class, teachers and
students alike seem to think that the best size for a team
is from three to seven people. This year, there must be
at least three students on a team. There is not a maximum
limit on the number of students per team.
||The small size allows team members to
better communicate, determine who is responsible for various
tasks and meet to work on your project.
||Remember, your teacher determines who
participates, approves the focus of your project and enrolls
your team in the ISTF competition. Be sure to keep your
teacher informed throughout the competition period.
||Why are the Content
||The Content Guidelines are
important because they describe the type and amount
of information your team must develop to complete
your final project.
judges for the ISTF follow the Content Guidelines
when they are scoring each website. This is to make
certain your team supplied all the information
||Why are Format Guidelines important?
||The Format Guidelines are
important because they describe how your team must
present the information you developed at your final
||The judges for the ISTF will
follow the Format Guidelines when they are scoring
each website. Be certain to
include what is required and locate your information
where it is required.
||Determining your ISTF Project focus
||Your first step is to identify a
problem that is of interest to your team.
||Students work in teams to
solve a problem that may exist in their own
community or one that is common to many people
in many different places.
||Create a 50-word description
about the problem your team has selected
||Students innovate a solution
to the problem they identified using a NCT
||Create a 50-word description
that explains how you intend to solve the
problem you described using the NCT technical
application you selected (Project Solution
||Remember, every project
solution must have a related NCT Category and
NCT Technology Sub-Area.
||If your team is unable to decide on
a problem, use the NCTs to locate a project idea.
||Create a project title.
||Your project title may be
changed up to the submittal of your team's final
||Locating a technical advisor
||Why do we need a technical
||The technical advisor
your team will look for should be someone
who knows a great deal about the NCT
technical application your team selected.
The individual you seek is a practicing or
retired professional. He or she may be or
may have been an engineer at a local or
national company, a scientist at a federal
research laboratory, medical technologist at
a hospital or researcher at a local or
team may have more than one technical
||The technical advisor
should be able to help you better understand
how your problem and technical solution are
connected, where there are useful Internet
resources to locate information to help you,
and verify the technical validity of project
||How do we find a technical
||A technical advisor
could be the parent of one of your
classmates, or he or she might work right in
your own community. Your parents and
teachers may be good resources for finding
the right individual.
||Use the Internet to
explore local and national organizations
where an individual with the experience you
seek might be located. Feel free to use the
following example as a model for what you
send to potential technical advisors.
||Dear Mr. Smith,
We are a twelfth grade class at UCF
School located in Orlando, Florida. We
are going to participate in the Internet
Science and Technology Fair (ISTF) this
fall. We will be building a website that
discusses ways to solve the problem of
poor tasting water that exists in our
community. We think we can improve the
taste of the water by using a special
filtering device. Since you work in the
environmental testing field, we think
you would be the best person to advise
us on the technical content of our
website. If you accept this invitation
you will become part of our ISTF team.
Before you answer this e-mail, please go
to the ISTF website at:
http://istf.ucf.edu and look it over.
You will find examples of winning
websites and information about what a
technical advisor does to help a team
participate. If you decide to help us,
we will send you more information about
our team, our school, and our teacher.
We hope you will consider being the
technical advisor for our ISTF project.
Thank you for considering this
The members of Mr. Furino's 12th
grade class at UCF School
||Share with your technical
advisor the focus of your project.
||Each year, many technical
advisors indicate that their student teams
understood their project, but needed to
tighten their technical solution focus.
||The very first thing you
need to do is to make sure your technical
advisor understands the technical solution
your team proposed and the problem you
identified. Your technical advisor can help
you tighten your project's focus so you and
your teammates do not waste valuable time.
||What if we find or already have
a Technical Advisor?
||When you find a
technical advisor, you will need to provide
him or her with your ISTF team number and
make sure he or she sets up an account using
ISTF" link. When they
complete the process, they will be
officially connected with your project, team
and school. This will also allow them to
complete the Progress Report and
Final Process Evaluation.
||What if we do not find a
||Locating an appropriate
technical advisor is a rewarding challenge.
It is a challenge for it may take some time.
Some teams finally locate technical advisors
well into December and January. It is
advantageous when the connection is made for
the individual brings knowledge that is
critical to the success of your team's final
||Be sure to keep record
of all your attempts to locate a technical
advisor. If you are unable to find the right
individual during the course of the
competition, your documentation will be
required to fulfill certain program
||Coordinate with your
teacher to enroll your student team.
||Teachers (or other
educational coordinators) must first enroll
themselves before they can add a student
||He/she will need to
set up an account using the "My ISTF"
link and provide very important contact
information concerning him/her,
particulars about your school and obtain
permission to host your final project at
the school's website.
||Why must a teacher enroll
||A teacher or
educational coordinator is recognized as
being the the only person eligible to
enter student teams in the ISTF
competition. They are responsible for
determining who is on your team, when
and how much time you spend working on
the ISTF in the classroom, helping you
locate in-school support for developing
your final project website and making
sure you complete the required progress
reports and Final Process Evaluation.
||Teachers may enroll more
than one student team.
||Your teacher will
need a Project Title, a Problem/Research
Statement, a Project Solution Statement,
names of students on the team (using
only first names and the first initial
of last names with parents' permission),
and the NCT and NCT Technology Sub-Area
for each team enrolled.
||Teachers may enter
as many teams as may be properly
||What if the information
regarding your project description and
members on the team may be
updated/changed by the teacher at the
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