ISSF Overview

The International Students Science Fair (ISSF) was officially launched in 2005 to facilitate international interaction and collaboration in science education. The ISSF brings together students, teachers and school leaders to share and develop their ideas about science in a modern world. The ISSF is the major event of its type in the world with a focus on the combined sharing and development of teaching and learning in science education. Each year’s event creates a learning HUB for participants that provide a range of forums promoting the development in teaching and learning of science research and science education.

The goals of the ISSF are to provide students with opportunities to:

  • effectively communicate scientific knowledge and concepts to an international audience
  • think critically about how effective leadership in science can provide solutions to complex societal issues, and make cross-cultural connections with gifted science students, teachers and principals

The ISSF also aims to build the capacities of participating science educators through leadership programs for teachers and educational leaders. Through these formal and informal programs, science educators can engage in professional discourse and develop ties with their counterparts from schools around the world.

The ISSF was conceived in 2004 at the Australian Science and Mathematics School in Adelaide, South Australia when educators from many countries including Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Korea and Japan came together and shared their reflections and understandings regarding student and teacher engagement within the science and mathematics fields of study. The ISSF was officially launched in 2005 to act as a platform for budding scientists to display their scientific knowledge and defend their findings in a non-competitive setting. 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 on the sciences with equally 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 particular, the team work for the problem solving and sharing sessions gives students and educators the chance to work with peers from different nations thus promoting the intercultural 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 cooperation and study.

The structure of the ISSF is to provide participants with a four to five day program that includes:

  • Keynote speakers and presentations
  • Cultural presentations
  • Student research project presentations
  • Student poster sharing 
  • Collaborative student workshops based on themes as decided by the host country
  • Industrial and cultural tours
  • Teacher workshops
  • Principal meetings and workshops
  • Social activities

The ISSF highlights the:

  • Value of bringing people together to share in personal ways their common interests in science
  • Challenge of developing the scientists of the future who will work to solve the great problems that our world faces

The ISSF model has evolved over the past few years to engage the university community, local government, national government and research institutions in a network that provides the ISSF participants with world class venues for authentic experiences. These partnerships have a long term impact on the local host communities with the learning network providing on-going collaboration. Each ISSF brings together students and teachers from a number of countries to participate in a week long learning opportunity as well as many local and regional programs. As the ISSF moves forward with these partnerships, especially with the university community it is anticipated that students will be encouraged to consider both a science related career as well as graduate level studies in a wide variety of fields.

ISSF History – Past and Future

1st  ISSF 2005  Thailand Hosted by Mahidol Wittayanusorn School
2nd ISSF 2006 Korea Hosted by Korea Science Academy
3rd ISSF 2007 India Hosted by City Montessori School
4th ISSF 2008 Japan Hosted by Ritsumeikan Senior High School
5th ISSF 2009 Singapore Hosted by National Junior College
6th ISSF 2010 Australia Hosted by Australian Science & Mathematics School
7th ISSF 2011 Thailand Hosted by Mahidol Wittayanusorn School
8th ISSF 2012 Canada Hosted by Fort Richmond Collegiate

9th ISSF 2013


Hosted by Camborne Science & International Academy

10th ISSF 2014 Russia Hosted by Moscow Chemical Lyceum
11th ISSF 2015 Australia Hosted by John Monash Science School