What is an Internet Project?
What are the characteristics of a good Internet Project?
Are there benefits to participating in and Internet Project?
What background information do I need?
Are there technology requirements to participate fully?
How do you find Internet Projects?
How do you select an Internet Project?
How do you design your own project?

What is an Internet Project?

An Internet Project is predesigned by a team of teachers and scientists. It is an interaction between professionals, students, teachers, and scientists to participate in the investigations of natural phenomena over a period of time.
Internet Projects are an exciting tool for collaboration. They allow teachers and students to work with scientists and other professionals on real science investigation in real time. Students are introduced to the scientific workforce and possible future career choices. Teachers are participants in school and curriculum reform. These electronic field trips consist of live video programs, hands-on lab activities in the classroom, printed resources, and online resources and interactive opportunities on computer networks.
The scientists are participants in an ongoing research project. They have added an educational component for students. This allows novices to see and understand how the thinking and processes are interrelated in live investigations.
The teacher is the facilitator and director of the students who are participating. The students are the scientists conducting the experiments and collecting data. Collaboration is among all of the classrooms participating in the research. Feed back is frequent and originates from students, experts, interested bystanders and teachers.
Print, Internet, CD-ROMS, videotapes, live broadcasts, worksheets and readings are part of an Internet Project. The commitment a teacher makes to participate is flexible. A classroom can take part in all or part of a project. You can begin participation usually at any time and stop at any time. The curriculum can be rewritten for local needs, it can be enhanced, you can select only those topics for which your students are prepared.


Back to Top

What are the characteristics of a good Internet Project?

There are many Internet Projects available on the web. Some are excellent. Some disappear after a few weeks. The following characteristic are a subjective list based on experiences of teachers.

The word example links to an active web page. Each example is one page of one of the following Internet Projects: JASON Project, Live from Mars, or Kansas Collaborative Research Network.

Each page was selected as a good example of the characteristic with which it is paired.

NOTE WELL: The example links are not part of this web page. To return to this page, or web, click the back button in your browser.

Dialogue among students, students and scientists, teachers and scientists, and teachers is an integral part of the project.
Data Collection is required and maintained in an accessible data file.
The time required for the entire project is manageable. Due dates are posted. The project is divided into dated segments.
Current resources are incorporated into the labs and text
Curriculum text is provided either online, mailed text, or on a CD-ROM
Curriculum objectives are well written
Background information for students and teachers is available in an index. This should include URL addresses.
Moderated e-mail and e-mail archive are posted. Information is given to subscribe to the e-mail list.


Prompt and relevant updated pages are posted on the project web. The home page gives notice of revisions.
Student pages are well organized, encouraged, and posted promptly after submission.
Teacher e-mail lists are available.
A teacher support discussion group is provided for technical help, how-to questions, pedagogical topics, and general teaching questions.
Ask-an-expert names, e-mail addresses are listed. Questions and responses are available to students and teachers.
On-going evaluation of the project content is required. A final written evaluation is included.
Student work sheets and texts are well written for the target student group.
Resources of additional links helpful to the project are available;all links are current.
Diagrams and images that enhance the written information are included and can be downloaded or printed. Copies of these images are clear and readable.
Brief guidelines for student online features are clear and specific.
The project managers are responsive to teacher/student suggestions to modify, adapt, add or delete parts of the project.
Pages are interesting and load rapidly.
Participation is free.
Materials list is provided.
Materials cost is nominal and materials are readily available
Additional software requirements are provided free, are easy to download and easy to use.

Back to Top

Are there benefits to participating in an Internet Project?

Students and teachers learn to use the Internet as an important scientific tool.
Students learn the meaning of collaboration. They define the term through practice by working together on a shared task and contributing toward a common goal.
Students are able to do thorough research on any topic available.
There is peer interaction available helping students to build new relationships not only with the science content but with other students as well.
The curriculum relies on real-time data which connects local data collection to the data of others. The increased available data provides important practice in data analysis and formulating generalized patterns.
Students get practice analysing data and get meaning from it.
Teachers and students form learning communities with scientists, other teachers and students.
Students enjoy the new opportunities to learn with telecommunications tools.
Students gain an integrated, and meaningful understandings of science.
Students and teachers become aware of the importance of science and technology.
Students can draw connections between what they are learning and how it will be applied in the future.
Students see learning as a process of lifelong discovery and adventure.
Professional participants provide role models who are self-disciplined, motivated and interested in students.
Teachers have access to programs for continued improvement of professional skills and knowledge.
Parents can link with what their children are learning in the classroom.
Project activities enhance existing science curricula. Innovative approaches to middle school science topics simulate a team-teaching approach.Your team is global.
Teachers can learn how to become facilitators of the learning process for students.

Back to Top

What background information do I need?

Most projects can be taught with a general science background. Specific information for a particular topic is provided by the project administrators. Motivation and the skills needed to integrate new topics into an existing curriculum are more important.

Back to Top

Are there technology requirements to participate fully?

An Internet Project requires

  1. computer skills
  2. Internet navigation skills
  3. classroom computers
  4. modem
  5. server connection
  6. adapter and large screen TV

Back to Top

How do you select an Internet Project?.

  1. Select several project sites that interest you.
  2. Read the curriculum objectives in each one.
  3. Review the activities and labs.
  4. Use the following rubrics to help the decision process.




The Project interests you.    
The materials for the activities are already available.    
Students like this topic.    
The project fits into the curriculum and can replace other activities.    
Computers are available for student use.    
Students have enough background information to understand the activities.    
All students will be able to understand the available text portions.    
You understand how to do all of the activities.    
Students will have enough class time to complete their data collections.    
You will be able to make enough copies of project pages for each student .    
You have enough time to prepare for each new activity.    

Back to Top

These pages authored and maintained by Marcella Dawson. Revised 02/15/99. Copyright 1995 CRPC GirlTECH. All rights reserved. . Email your comments. These pages were developed through GirlTECH '96, a teacher training and student technology council program sponsored by the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center.