International Students’ Science Fair

International Students’ Science Fair

International Students’ Science Fair (ISSF)

The ISSF was conceived in 2004 by four schools: The Australian Science and Mathematics School, Mahidol Wittayanusorn School Thailand, Korean Science Academy and Ritsumeikan High School, Japan. The ISSF has operated successfully since 2005, and has attracted the participation of many schools across the world.

See pictures from ISSF 2016 Singapore, hosted by NUS High School of Maths and Science

The International Students’ Science Fair

The International Students’ Science Fair is the major annual event promoted by the ISSN. The ISSF provides a unique forum for budding scientists to display their enquiry skills and defend their findings in a non-competitive environment. The event provides students from around the world valuable opportunities to work in collaborative settings to exchange ideas, hone their research techniques and engage their inquisitive minds in the fields of mathematics, science and technologies with like-minded peers. Opportunities are provided that extend student thinking, allowing them to use their knowledge in interesting ways and encourage all participants to explore their ethics and assumptions in the application of mathematics, science and technology. In particular, the team-work in problem solving and sharing sessions gives students and educators the opportunity to work with peers from different nations, thus promoting the inter-cultural understandings needed in the 21st Century. A significant component of ISSF is the cultural and social interactions which help develop friendships and collaborative opportunities amongst our students and educational leaders which may be the basis for future co-operation and study.

We are delighted that the 2018 ISSF will be in Illinois, United States of America, hosted by the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.

Previous International Students’ Science Fairs

  • 1st ISSF 2005 Bangkok, Thailand, hosted by Mahidol Wittayanusorn School
  • 2nd ISSF 2006 Busan, South Korea, hosted by Korea Science Academy
  • 3rd ISSF 2007 Lucknow, India, hosted by City Montessori School
  • 4th ISSF 2008 Kyoto, Japan, hosted by Ritsumeikan Senior High School
  • 5th ISSF 2009 Singapore, hosted by National Junior College
  • 6th ISSF 2010 Adelaide, Australia, hosted by Australian Science & Mathematics School
  • 7th ISSF 2011 Bangkok, Thailand, hosted by Mahidol Wittayanusorn School
  • 8th ISSF 2012 Winnipeg, Canada, hosted by Fort Richmond Collegiate, Winnipeg
  • 9th ISSF 2013 Camborne, UK, hosted by Camborne Science & International Academy
  • 10th ISSF 2014 Moscow, Russia, hosted by Moscow Chemical Lyceum
  • 11th ISSF 2015 Melbourne, Australia, hosted by John Monash Science School
  • 12th ISSF 2016 Singapore, hosted by NUS High School Of Maths and Science
  • 13th ISSF 2017 South Korea, hosted by the Korea Science Academy of KAIST

Important Features of the ISSF

  • Each International Students Science Fair will generally have the following features:
  • High quality keynote speakers and presentations
  • Student-led and conducted research project presentations
  • Student poster sharing
  • Cultural sharing and presentations
  • Collaborative student problem or challenge-based workshops based on emerging contemporary and interdisciplinary science themes decided by the host school
  • Industrial and cultural tours
  • Teacher professional workshops
  • Principal meetings and workshops
  • Social activities

Applying to Host the ISSF

Only Full and Associate members of the ISSN may apply to host the ISSF. A draft application form for schools wishing to apply to host the annual International Students Science Fair has been prepared by the Participating Schools responsible for this document. It is included as an Appendix.

It is a requirement that any intending ISSF Host school has either secured promised funding prior to lodging their application, or has a plan in place which will guarantee funding for the ISSF should they be successful. A school may host the ISSF more than once.

Expectations of the Host School of the ISSF

  • The Host school for any ISSF will invite both Full and Associate Members of the ISSN to send a team. Full Member teams will comprise four students and a teacher, and Associate Member teams will comprise three students and a teacher. The Principal of each ISSN Member school is also invited;
  • The Host school will begin and maintain regular contact with invited schools at least six months immediately prior to their ISSF event;
  • The Host school is responsible for providing international standards for the accommodation, food, safety, security and hygiene for all participants via an agreed ISSN Risk Assessment proforma;
  • The Host school is responsible for providing the venues, program, in-country transport, meals and accommodation for all invited school teams, and sourcing funding to ensure this is possible;
  • The Host school will assist with the procurement of visas if this is appropriate;
  • The Host school is welcome to invite schools from other locations to their event, depending on their capacity to accommodate extra visitors. These schools would usually have an existing relationship with the host school, and may be international, from another state in the Host country or local;
  • Any school who is invited to attend the ISSF by the Host school must have the potential to be a member of the ISSN, that is satisfy the selection criteria in Sections 4.1.2 to 4.1.5. An exception could be a school that the Host school is supporting, who might never have the capacity nor the resources to join the ISSN in the future;
  • The Host school is responsible for the daily co-ordination of the event for the week;
  • The Host school is responsible for ensuring all projects presented are given constructive and supportive feedback. The ISSF is a non-competitive event focussed on collaboration, learning and sharing. The Host school may decide to nominate some projects for special recognition;
  • The Host school Principal will chair a meeting of the Executive Steering Committee of the ISSN in the first three days of the ISSF week, as per note 5.3 in this document;
  • The Host school Principal will chair a meeting of the Full member Principals of the ISSN later in the ISSF week;
  • The Host school must provide a detailed report to the Executive Working Group one year prior to hosting the ISSF which details progress to that point. The report must include the final dates for the event, the accommodation which has been booked, program details which have been decided, the estimated financial commitment for the event and the funds which have been sourced to that point.

Expectations of Schools Attending the ISSF

  • Each school is responsible for organising their travel, visas and insurance to and from the city hosting the ISSF;
  • Each school is responsible for co-operating with the Host school fully prior to the ISSF, completing all documentation related to their attendance on time;
  • Each school is responsible for ensuring their students complete a project which honours the theme of the ISSF, prepare a poster demonstrating their learning as well as a presentation of their work involving all students in the team;
  • Each school is responsible for the conduct of their students while attending the ISSF, ensuring they attend all events, engage fully in all activities and represent their school in an exemplary manner;
  • The teachers and Principal of each attending school are expected to supervise their students and fully engage in the program, including professional presentations as appropriate, educational sharing sessions with colleagues, and facilitating the student project presentations and feedback;
  • Any school who has hosted, or has committed to host,  the ISSF may attend subsequent ISSFs cost-free;
  • Schools who have not hosted the ISSF are entitled to cost-free attendance at one ISSF, as long as they have been invited;
  • Pay any fees owing to the host school, from 2016 onwards, should the decision outlined in Section 4 be adopted;
  • These funds must be paid at least three months prior to the event, and are non-refundable;

Schools who commit to attending an ISSF but either withdraw within two weeks of the event being held, or fail to attend with no reasonable explanation, must reimburse the Host school the entire cost of their accommodation, meals and transport for the duration of the ISSF. Failure to do so will result in their exclusion from all future ISSF events.

APPENDIX ONE: Application/Proposal to Host ISSF

The ISSF is a yearly, international five-day event aimed at bringing together students, educators, and educator leaders for collaboration around science education, especially highlighting accomplishments of students in authentic research investigations.  Only Full and Associate members of the ISSN may apply to host the ISSF.

An application to host the ISSF is intended to provide the ISSF Steering Committee with information about what the proposed ISSF event may be composed of, and the level of commitment (such as funding) that has been secured.  Brevity, and completeness of information, is appreciated; websites may be provided for reference instead of textual information.  Applications of 1-2 pages may be sufficient to communicate intent; applications should not exceed 5 pages.  Multiple proposals may be received for a specific year; the application is considered to be a dynamic and evolving document.

School Name:


School Website:

School Description:

  • Limit description to 200 words; description is optional if a school website (in English) is provided

ISSF Theme:

  • Please list the suggested/tentative theme/title for the ISSF event, if known.

Proposed Dates:

  • More than one date can be proposed for consideration;
  • Exact date(s) do not need to be provided, but date(s) should be focused to at least a specific month(s)
  • Please provide a brief rationale for the proposed date(s); for example, school semester or term break, if appropriate.
  • Are you willing to host ISSF in a different year than listed above?


  • Please provide the location(s) where events (opening and closing ceremonies, activities, presentations) will be held.
  • Please provide the location and brief description of the accommodations (hotel, university; en suite bath; number of individuals per room).


  • Please provide information about other schools, outside of ISSF member schools, that you intend to invite.  How many students and adults do you anticipate having in attendance?

Proposed Funding/Sponsors:

  • Please provide a detailed listing of sponsors/partners and status (considering sponsorship, invited, to be contacted, and so forth) in relation to supporting ISSF.

ISSF Workshops/Events:

  • Please provide a listing, brief description (1-2 sentences), and status (proposed/under consideration, confirmed) of the workshops and field trips, if known, for the ISSF.


  • Please list and briefly describe up to 5 past events similar to ISSF that your school has organized and hosted.  Include scope, length, purpose, target audiences.

Risk Assessment:

  • Proforma to be supplied by Susan Hyde ASMS. If this is judged to be inadequate, the school cannot be awarded the hosting of the ISSF