Mainland High School
Cutting the Cord: ISTF 07-1726
Team Assessment
A 100-word paragraph written by the team on what they experienced regarding teaming and communication (how it progressed between: students, students and the teacher, and students and the technical advisor).
Communicating on a project, no matter how simple, is always a difficult task especially when the project is on such a large scale as that of our ISTF project. In order to work more efficiently as a team we had team meetings once a week, and about once every two months we would devote an entire day to work only on the project. In an effort to establish a way to store our research so that everyone could view it, we set up a central gmail account through which finished documents could be viewed by everyone. Another reason we as a team were able to communicate so well together is because we would help each other. If someone became confused about a topic they would be able to ask for help, without fear of reprecusions. Mrs. Colwell contacted our technical advisors through emails which the team worked together to compose. She then shared their responses at each meeting.
A 100-word paragraph written by the team on what they experienced regarding research and innovation (what your team learned about researching and innovating a solution to a real world problem).
Throughout the completion of our ISTF project we learned that researching can be a tedious, time-consuming task. Our project, with its futuristic slant, dealt almost exclusively with innovative ideas. We were researching for clues to form the basis for the project's feasilbility. Most of the research we needed to reach was being conducted by government contracts with either the military and universities, or the R&D departments of private companies. Members of the product team had to read, and re-read, and re-read yet again to try and understand the relationships. As familiarity grew, so did our ability to "put it together." We became more proficient at locating legitimate sources and applying them to real world problems. In doing this we discovered that the first site is not necessarily the best, but that instead you should check and cite multiple sources.
Three lessons your team learned during the program.
  1. Our first lesson was one in time management. We needed to spend more time on working independently and setting intermediate goals. We also wasted time duplicating efforts since many members did not pay enough attention to posting and reading the documents stored in our common gmail account.
  2. Our second lesson was one that dealt with choosing a product. This year's topic became extremely broad as we searched for a power supply. Our background research became quite extensive as our project's complexity grew. Members of the team had to possess a great deal of patience as we watched the "drama of our product unfold."
  3. Our third lesson dealt with communication. As "spam filter settings" have become more sophisticated even Mrs. Colwell's school-based email address was having trouble reaching companies to solicit information. Sometimes we would be contacted by an individual responding to a request through a company web form, but we would never hear back from them after we replied to their email for further information. Consequently, our questions and answers to companies have been extremely restricted and disappointing.

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