Completing the ISTF

Congratulations are in order for any teacher/facilitator who has made it to this point.  By now, your students understand why we refer to the Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF) as a "real-world challenge." Below are some suggestions you should consider as your students are nearing the conclusion of their projects. Now is the time to involve other teachers/facilitators, parents of students or your school's/organization's administrators in viewing your final project(s). Having extra "sets of eyes" checking students' content against the guidelines, watching for misspellings, making sure images are appropriate and all hyperlinks work are vital to success. 


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There are, as in any team effort, loose ends that need to be tied up before the final ISTF Project is submitted. As a teacher, here are some suggestions you might want to consider.
Stay current with each team's progress. Teachers in previous competitions had time constraints just as you do. It was not always possible for them to view the website progress either for content or for design. Several former participants stated that they would check the projects more often to see that students were staying on track.
As you know, the enthusiasm of team members will ebb and flow. Sometimes a team will be unable to convince a member that she or he is responsible for an important piece of the ISTF Project. It may mean that you will be called upon to be the final arbiter.
Teachers who have several teams may wish to enlist the aid of other teachers to scan websites or provide input. We believe team teaching is an excellent way to use the ISTF Program.
The Office of Special Programs, administrator of the ISTF, is willing to answer any reasonable questions. We do ask, however, that the questions come from you as the teacher. If every student wrote us with a concern, we would have an enormous e-mail traffic jam.
Evaluation is a critical part of any educational program and holds true for the ISTF.
Students want to know what you think. Therefore, we suggest that you review your student team's final website.
For teachers who have many teams, this can be a problem and you may wish to enlist the aid of other teachers and parents. A language arts teacher can help students uncover grammatical and spelling errors, both of which are taken into consideration by the judges.
A person who understands links may be useful as well. It is important that all URLs included on the web pages take the reader directly to a website associated with what is being read.
Besides the on-line progress report mentioned earlier, there is a final on-line evaluation that must be completed before a teacher submits the URL for a student team's final project website.
The on-line Final Process Evaluation form will not be available until shortly before the deadline date for submittal of projects.
Most questions can be answered by simply clicking in a box but there is room for team members to make comments on their ISTF experience.
Each member of the team - students, teacher and technical advisor - is asked to complete this evaluation, on-line.
The ISTF competition ends at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the February deadline. (Please see the Schedule for the current year's dates.)
Judging of team websites begins in March. (Please see the Schedule for the current year's dates.)
Again, if you have questions or concerns you need answered, please contact: Director@istf.ucf.edu. Thank you for your interest in the Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF).
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