I am an ISP Scientist

I am an ISP Scientist

learning area

Maths & Problem Solving

Age Range

5 -18


Two intakes. November

Participants per school

Open to all



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, 476 aspiring scientists from 41 ISP schools came together to help solve this global problem, to find out where the missing plastic is, and fight back against plastic pollution. Together we identified 79,206 items of litter, equivalent to 1,927kg or 257 million years of environmental impact.

We are already starting to see the first impacts of students’ hard work with an array of impressive initiatives to drive positive change in their schools:

  • Students at Reach British School held a ‘flash mob’ and have made a commitment to no plastic bottles at school.
  • Asia Pacific Schools have launched a campaign to tackle cigarette butts in the school grounds.
  • One student at Lynn-Rose Heights even shared their data with the Mayor, and as a result the Mississauga Department for the Environment has committed to tackling PPE pollution in the surveyed area.

What’s more, as a citizen science project, the data from the project will go on to be used by professional scientists to inform and influence decision-makers and help create even more real and lasting environmental change around the world.

...amazing learning experience for our students. They loved knowing that they were part of an international research project, and I can already see the future changemakers in the making. This was such an amazing opportunity for all of them. They really felt like they were part of a bigger piece and could make a difference.

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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