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Teaming and Communication

The Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF) involves preparation, action, and completion. The guidelines also require that students reflect on the experience when they complete their projects. Elements of this reflection are the "Teaming and Communication Assessments," which the students incorporate as part of their final project websites. 

Elementary School

Below are excerpts from reflective passages elementary school students wrote about teaming and communication.

On Teaming:

Our team had a lot to learn about teamwork. It was difficult to work on a project when everyone wanted to do something, but no one knew exactly how to do it. It was also difficult to work as a team when not everyone worked on the project every day. We did work well with our teacher. She directed us and made sure we were constantly on the right track, and helped keep us organized. Our advisors were great, but we didnít use them like we should have throughout the project. Being a team member is hard work.

Our school is under construction and we don't have our own classroom. We have to work in a corner of the computer lab and there is very little work space. Our solution to this was to make a list of teamwork rules. These rules are... Listen. One speaker. Cooperate. Be helpful. Work. Ignore distractions. Be responsible for self. Participate. Be positive. Have fun. 

Our team had a lot to learn in regards to communicating with each other, our teacher, and our technical advisors. Sometimes things got out of control because of our lack of teamwork. Our technical advisors and teacher were awesome. They helped us focus, and kept pushing us so that we did not quit. Our scientists and engineers helped us with our research in locating the right information. 

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On Communication:

Communication with our team was slow, but steady. We had a difficult time in getting our project started. There are eight students on our team, and not everyone participated at the same time when it came to working on the project. We didnít know how to go about getting the answers to the questions put before us. Our advisors assisted us in our research, and encouraged us when we had difficulties.

Most of the time we tried real hard to work together as a team, but the team members did not get along well. We did not work well with our engineer and scientist, because our communication to them was quite poor. In the end, we got the job done.

Communication between students has gone well because we are able to be together . †We had some group discussions about how the ISTF project works. †We have also worked together on many pages for ISTF. †It is easier to make decisions and stick with them when everyone is there.† It was also easy for students to communicate with the teacher because she's here when we work.

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Middle School

Below are excerpts from reflective passages middle school students wrote about teaming and communication.

On Teaming:

Our teaming between everyone included in this project started well and progressed over time. When we started the program, we had a small team of four people who didn't know each other, a teacher we didn't know, and no mentor. Now, we are a fully functioning team because we all know each other well and can resolve any problem in the project that comes up, we now know and can talk with our teacher who has helped us through all steps, and a great mentor who will take time to help us with anything he can.

When we first walked into class, we were confused about what we were supposed to do, but we eventually caught on and just worked together. We looked at the workload and we ended up talking and splitting it up so no one did too much work and no one did too little. Whenever we were stuck with one of the components we would ask the teacher for help and she wouldn't hesitate to lend a helping hand. A lot of potential advisors said that this wasn't in their field, but we eventually found a teacher in school to help us.

Teaming between the students was limited. The students only met and worked together in class. They worked together with the teacher, but help and advice was limited. Working together with the technical advisor was difficult because one could not be found until close to the end of the project. However, when a technical advisor was finally found, he provided very helpful advice. All of this advice was taken into consideration, and most was used to improve the project. Teaming between the students and technical advisor was the best. The students worked mostly individually on each of their assigned project components.

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On Communication:

Communication between the members of our team was not a problem. We were always open with each other and frequently discussed any problems we found in the research process. Each member updated others on our project's progress through e-mails and in class. During class time, our team also conversed with Mrs. Rios and found her advice and answers to problems very helpful. Similarly, we were frequently in contact with our technical advisor. He gave us useful suggestions and was an excellent supporter of our new ideas.

The team communicated with each other very well. The technical advisor prepared us with websites to search and email addresses of other scientist that worked in the same field. Our teacher and the technical advisors answered our teams vital questions that would have gone unanswered with out them.  Hard work with our group took place everyday. We completed this task in one month with time to spare.

The members of our team were able to communicate fairly effectively through email and personal contact, and even though there were glitches from time to time, we were able to learn from our mistakes and overcome them. We were always up-to-date on each otherís progress, and so was our technical advisor. 

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High School

Below are excerpts from reflective passages high school students wrote about teaming and communication.

On Teaming:

Our team has worked successfully together throughout the program. We have all worked around our busy schedules in order to complete the tasks of the project. Many of our completed tasks required correction and we worked with our teacher in order to make them satisfactory. We found our technical advisor early on in the program and he has given us a great deal of help in our studies. 

The teaming of our students has progressed significantly. We are working together much better than when we started. Our teacher has also helped us so much in this project by telling us what is needed and by keeping us on task. Our technical advisor has helped our group very much during the course of this project. 

Our team has prepared this website reasonably to our abilities. At the beginning of this project and towards the end, we started to slack off as a team, which led us to procrastinating. We did work well as a team. We were able to be focused on the end of this competition and doing our best on it. We all worked individually on some of the tasks and then again, we worked on some together as a team.

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On Communication:

The hard work combined with the communication we had combined to create a great success of this project. I think that our greatest trouble with this project was finding a technical advisor, which was a very lengthy process. Another small problem we had was that because our group is so large, it was hard to meet all at once. But once those goals were accomplished, our project became much easier.

Communication was a†major aspect of the ISTF project as a whole. Our team readily communicated with each other in the classroom, via the internet (email), and also by telephone. Reminders were constantly given to one another to keep any individual from forgetting to complete his designated part. The teacher was consulted in the classroom if any questions came about or any help was needed. Our group had no difficulty or problems in regards to communication as we all felt comfortable approaching each other or the teacher. Overall, the communication aspect of the project proved to be no major concern for our group

Communication in our group was essential. Three out of the four of us knew each other fairly well, but we all worked well together. We all had each otherís phone numbers, addresses, and e-mails/IM screen-names. We met together a fair amount of times. We had called each other a significant amount of times by the time the ISTF project was over. The communication between our technical advisor and our group was kept to a bare minimum. One of the members in our group knew the technical advisor and was able to keep in contact with him everyday. He had helped us throughout this project, though had not talked to the group as a whole

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