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.

2022/2023 OVERVIEW

This year 996 students from 38 schools and 14 different countries came together to help solve this global problem, to find out where litter is, and fight back against plastic pollution. Together they carried out 1,135 surveys covering 30,038 square meters and found 45,080 pieces of litter – equivalent to 569.84kg and 11.75 million years of environmental impact.

We asked all students at the start and end of the course if they would call themselves a scientist…. 38% said yes before, 97% said yes after

  • 99% of participants said they have changed their behaviour as a result of the course
  • 97% felt they had more agency to make change
  • 91% discovered STEM career options they didn’t know about
  • 97% feel more hopeful about the future

Comments from experts at our partners Ellipsis Earth:

“I’m no longer worried about AI taking my job, but the 10 year old kids at ISP! They are ready to become great scientists”

“It was great to see the students developing so much confidence throughout the course”

“The atmosphere of the webinars was really collaborative and supportive, with many students speaking brilliantly!” 

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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