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This page mostly contains student commentary related to the ISTF Final Process Evaluation.

Elementary School

Approximately twenty-five elementary school student participants in the 2003-2004 Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF) responded to questions concerning their preparation for, work on, and completion of their projects. Below is a summary of the information these students provided supplemented by their comments. 


Preparing for the ISTF Project

Elementary students explained how they determined what they needed to do, who would participate, and who would assume which roles:

We read about each of the components. In addition to that we read the handouts our teacher gave us.

We each had to write an essay to get in. 12 of us were chosen. Then our teachers divided us into 2 teams; 3 boys and 3 girls per team.

Our teacher asked us who wanted to represent our class in this competition.

Well, we each had a share in everything, but if a task came up we would discuss on who would do what.

At the beginning I argued non-stop, though as time went on I helped stop arguments, and I was on top of things.

Elementary student teams took steps to narrow their project focus:

We started with about ten different project focuses, and narrowed it down everyday until we had two projects, and then we split our whole group into two groups.

We found things on the computer and then printed then trashed what we did not need and narrow it down to what we needed and wrote what was important and so on so forth.

We just thought of multiple ideas and narrowed it down to the best.

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Working on the ISTF Project

Elementary students discussed teaming and research problems and solutions:

Sometimes if somebody was not there they didn't agree with something that we might have voted on.

We had a problem of goofing off sometimes.

Doing stuff on the computer and researching has always come easy to me. After all, my dad is a computer science professor.

It was some what difficult because we had to look though a lot of different info before we found what we needed.

It was hard because we weren't sure if all the information was true.

It was a hard process, but I was enjoying learning about it the same time.

We would occasionally blurt out interesting facts we found out of nowhere. We got in big trouble for that. Plus, we would some times review each others writings.

We sat in a circle and discussed it.

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Completing the ISTF Project

Elementary students explained how satisfied they were with their ISTF Project websites: 

We worked very hard on this project and our final results were very pleasing. At first I thought we would not get very much accomplished, but we did. Plus overall any one who would look at it would think we were a bunch of smart kids.

We worked very hard and took time out of our day, our teacher's day, and our technical advisor’s day. If we didn't feel good about our webpage we wouldn't have put it on there.

Because I accomplished something and I did most of the project it made me even more proud of myself.

Because our website looks like a website put up by adults and it wasn’t, it was put up by us kids (and some help from our teacher!)

Elementary students who commented on possible careers in science, engineering, and technology provided some interesting insights:

I might consider it later in my life.

I liked this, but I don't want a career in it.

Last year I really didn't want to, but this year I think it might be possible that I might want to be an engineer because I love to design and build.

I like to learn like they do.

Because I like to do experiments and it makes the community better.

Elementary students conveyed their feelings about the ISTF experience:

ISTF was very fun and I would like to participate in it next year if there is one. It builds up strong leadership and friendship. It shows teamwork and how to extend our thinking to a new level.

It was very fun and I was completely satisfied.

I really liked it. It was a ton of fun. It taught me a lot. I like to type and I like the internet. I really like to see myself on the web. It makes me feel special.

I had fun and felt like [I] was changing the world at the same time.

A good way to learn teamwork.

It helps students see that science isn't allllllllllllllll boring.

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