[rotating Medal/DOC seal][National Medal of Technology]

1999 Student Recipients

As participants in the second annual Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF), 38 student teams from around the country surfed the Net in search of answers to critical technology concerns facing America.

This year's two winning teams are the Fairgrounds Junior High School team from Nashua, New Hampshire with their project entitled S.O.S. (Stopping Oil Spills), and the Mainland High School team from Daytona Beach, Florida with a project entitled Turtle Lights. In recognition of their accomplishments, each team will receive a Certificate of Meritorious Achievement from the Department of Commerce's National Medal of Technology program. Five other teams received honorable mention from the College of Engineering at the University of Central Florida, which developed and administers the Fair.

Stopping Oil SpillsA distinctive feature of ISTF is that students do all of the research for their projects via email and the Internet--from tracking down articles and consulting technical advisors in corporations and academia to submitting the results of their research in the form of web sites.

Yet ISTF is about more than students learning their way around the Internet. "First and foremost, we want to pique students' interest in science and engineering and increase their 'technology literacy,'" explains Bruce Furino of the University of Central Florida, ISTF's director. "The more comfortable they are working with technology related issues, the more likely it is that they will consider careers in technology related fields," Furino says.

Turtle LightsWorking in teams, students first choose a technical topic involving one of the National Critical Technologies identified by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Categories range from energy and transportation to living systems and environmental quality. The students then use on-line resources to define the problems involved in the topic selected, and to explore existing or potential technologies relevant to solving those problems. Results of the students' efforts are presented as "Project Homepages" on the World Wide Web, and these are evaluated by a panel of expert judges.

For the first time, this year's program included a level of participation specifically for senior high students, in addition to the level for junior high and middle school students. Next year, a level for elementary school students will be included in the competition. The content standards which each team must address are based on National Science Education Standards developed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

This year's results and the expanded levels of participation bode well for ISTF's future. As Furino notes, "It's gratifying to see the effort that the students are putting into their projects. Having three levels of participation next year means even more young people will have the chance to take part in an experience that is not only fun and exciting but a marvelous opportunity to prepare for tomorrow's challenges."

(Click on either image to visit the respective Project Homepage of this year's winners.)

[small medal] [TA] [OTP]