I am an ISP Scientist

I am an ISP Scientist

learning area


Age Range

8 – 16


Jan – May 2023

Participants per school

Up to 30


Online and in school

This unique opportunity enables ISP students to become citizen scientists and contribute to a real-world STEM research project mapping the journey of missing plastic waste.

Aspiring ISP scientists take part in a series of workshops, learning about plastics and developing their skills in survey methodology, data collection and analysis, and science communication. Students also join sessions with professionals hearing from the people behind the science and discovering the latest scientific research and innovation.

Participants design their own STEM investigation and are given access to cutting-edge machine-learning technology from Ellipsis Earth to test their hypothesis and complete their research. Students use their results to identify trends and create a final communication piece to influence environmental change in their local area.

Students connect with each other to present and share their experiences, and their data goes on to be used by professional scientists as part of a global international research project.

STEM & Citizen Science

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) helps students to improve their problem solving and decision-making skills, builds creativity, and lays the foundations for children to be future innovators.

At ISP, we believe in the importance of preparing our students for the future. That’s why we are actively embracing the need to put greater focus on equipping our students with a variety of 21st century skills.

Citizen science is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur scientists. This kind of public participation in research enables our students to contribute to advancements in real-world scientific innovation and discovery whilst developing their own understanding of science.

Hearing from professionals

The project also includes inspiring opportunities for our students to engage with STEM professionals behind cutting-edge scientific innovation and discovery, encouraging them to consider and explore a wide range of STEM careers.


Last year 974 students from 42 schools and 13 different countries came together to help solve this global proble, to find out where the missing plastic is, and fight back against plastic pollution. Together they carried out 1,135 surveys covering 31,128 square meters and found 38,757 piece of litter – equivalent to 1,008.31kg or 9.84 million years of environmental impact!

ISP Scientist gave me an opportunity to see how together, we can become responsible global citizens. Working in groups was a fun opportunity to apply the knowledge we were given to real-world activities.

The data collection was amazing for them because they could see how technology can be useful also to take care of the environment.

Learning objectives

  • Connect classroom learning to real research.
  • Develop greater understanding of scientific methodology.
  • Participate in enquiry-based learning.
  • Practise transferable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork and communication.

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