Preparing
During
Completing

 

 


 

While the students will be doing the lion's share of the work on Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF) Projects, the Project Mentor's role is essential during this period of the ISTF Program. The following are some of the key areas where your guidance, assistance and intervention will make a significant difference. 


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Communicate with your team on a regular basis.
"Talking" to the students will enhance their communication skills and keep you informed of the team's progress.
Remember, there will be down times when you will not hear from the students (school vacations, special days off and probably test periods).
The frequency of the communication is up to you. If you do not hear from the team, a reminder from you may be in order.
Clarify for the team the scientific principles that are the basis of the technical application with which the students are working.
The students are working in a particular National Critical Technology (NCT). It may be that they have chosen an NCT, a Sub-area or even a technical application that will not work to solve the problem.
Perhaps instead of developing a new product within a technical application, the team needs to develop a new process. (Please refer to the Guidelines.)
As a subject matter expert with experience in the field the students are working, you can point out whether or not the team is heading in the right direction.
Supply URLs that directly relate to the Problem/Research Statement and Project Solution Statement.
These sources will help the team stay focused on valid research sites.
Students sometimes get caught up in business sites that promote products similar to the team's technical solution. Remind your team of its responsibility to develop its own solution.
Occasionally students find information from research labs concerning previously or currently tested solutions to the same problem they selected. This presumed "defeat" has led to students' abandonment of their chosen topic. In this case, you can suggest alternative approaches to the team or a change in the technical application/solution.
Ask the team for the URL to the website they are developing.
Monitoring the website your team develops can help the students avoid adding misinformation to the site.
Your input also helps to assure that the students firmly establish and adhere to the project focus.
Finally, you can assist the team in rectifying last-minute complications, like non-functional links or fuzzy thinking, before the teacher submits the project.
Complete the Progress Report in January. (Please refer to the Schedule for the current year's deadline.)
This evaluation takes about 15 minutes to complete.
You will have the opportunity to explain problems, successes, and other matters related to your participation as a technical advisor.
The Progress Report also helps the ISTF Staff determine whether it can help the teachers, teams or technical advisors.
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