As in previous years, students who participated in the 2001-2002 Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF) were very willing to share their thoughts about it.
Although the ISTF was originally designed to be used as a classroom project, many of the teams actually completed their entries in a technology or website design class, while others worked on it as an after-school project. Using the ISTF in this manner may be why many of the students felt that they did not have adequate time to complete their website to their own satisfaction.
Still, more than three-fourths of the students were pleased with the websites they produced. The majority of students found the ISTF to be enjoyable as an educational activity.
Many pointed out that creating an ISTF project was a real-world experience requiring teamwork, time-management skills, the need for accurate communication and the necessity for meeting deadlines. One ninth-grade student, tongue-in-cheek, even suggested: "..give the participants less than ample time to perform research, design and complete the website. This will simulate any future project in the real world that may have an unexpectedly soon due date."
Nearly 75 percent of the students who developed an ISTF project now use computers both at home and at school in a variety of ways including research for homework, e-mailing friends and even designing their own websites. The Internet is becoming a way of life with today's students.
The ISTF was designed to challenge students to stretch their imaginations and to explore how technology influences their daily lives. As an eighth-grade student so aptly put it: "I learned that one problem can make a big impact on the world…. This helped me understand that there are a lot of problems to be solved and not enough people working to solve them." One of the main objectives of the Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF) is to create a learning experience that will help students become interested in careers in science and technology. It was gratifying, then, to learn that about 34 percent of the participating students are now considering a possible career in science or technology.