an Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF) technical advisor, you have a unique opportunity to interact with today's younger students. You will be able to exchange ideas with them that may
bring a whole new perspective to their understanding of a
particular area of science or engineering.
The technical advisor not only answers students'
questions, he or she also anticipates their needs and poses
questions that will make each team member consider new or
alternate possibilities for solving a problem.
a technical advisor, you give direction to the team and you
offer suggestions and advice that will help propel the team to
develop logical, scientific thought.
students probably do not have any prior experience working
with experts. They may
initially be wary of interacting with you because you are a
professional. Your participation will set the tone for how the
students integrate you into the team. Your expertise will help them develop
better skills in many areas including:
– Keep the lines of communication open with the team.
This will help overcome the initial hesitation students
may have about working with a professional.
you sense they are reluctant to contact you, take the
first step and send them e-mails.
usually results in a team requesting greater participation on
the part of its technical advisor.
skills – This may be the first opportunity students have
had to interact with a professional scientist or engineer.
– You can offer your team ideas and information on
relevant website addresses that will help them to perform
valid research. This will also help them begin to develop research
skills of their own.
– Your input and advice will help students learn to understand and
apply the information they find in their research.
– Although you may be hundreds of miles from the site
where students are working, your input can emphasize the
need to stay focused and to discuss the project regularly,
both as a team and with you online.
are asking technical advisors to be proactive. This mentoring
should not be a burden to you nor should it be boring. It
often is a great deal of fun since students have a special spin on
today's technology. The successful technical advisor helps
the students develop and follow the plan they have outlined,
adjustments when necessary, and sees the team through to its
ultimate goal—the creation of their final project website.