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Science students take part in the science and engineering challenge as part of the International Science School

International Science School

Join us online virtually in July 2022

Be inspired by talks from world-renowned scientists, go on tours of cutting-edge research facilities, and take part in mind-expanding hands-on workshops and activities.

Are you currently in Year 11 or 12 and love science?

If so, you’ve got to apply for our free virtual Professor Harry Messel International Science School (ISS) program to be held online in July 2022.

Our completely digital program is designed to excite your enthusiasm, ignite your interest and cultivate your curiosity for science. 

Each day during ISS Online, you'll be inspired by talks from world-renowned scientists, go on virtual tours of cutting-edge research facilities, and take part in mind-expanding hands-on workshops and activities — all without leaving home!

ISS Online 2022 is open to talented Year 11 and 12 science students in Australia and partner countries overseas and will run during the New South Wales school holidays during July (exact dates will be announced soon).

ISS Online 2022 is free for students due to being entirely funded by the Physics Foundation at the University of Sydney, through funding from the NSW DET, the Australian Federal Government, Mulpha Australia, and our many generous private and industry donors.

Applications open in January so make sure to register your interest so we can remind you to apply in the new year!

  • The ISS Online 2022 program will feature up to four hours of talks and activities each day over 8-10 days in July. The program will be finalised in the coming months, however a likely daily schedule will start at around 11am Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), and finish around 5pm, with several breaks along the way.
  • If you're in Year 11 or 12 in 2022, a citizen or permanent resident of Australia, and attending a school in Australia, you can apply to take part in ISS Online. Our overseas scholars will be selected by organisations in their home country.
  • ISS Scholars are selected on academic merit and aptitude. Participants are not selected based on city or country, public school, private school or independent school. It does not matter where you come from, if you're into science you should apply.
  • Attendance is free and funded by the University of Sydney’s Physics Foundation.

The ISS Online program is fully web-based, so you will need:

  • A computer: modern enough to run web-conferencing software, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Discord.
  • A suitable internet connection: you’ll need access to broadband speeds that allow you to join the sessions, download the video streams and upload your own video and audio streams during the different activities.
  • A webcam and microphone: required so that you can take part in the interactive aspects of the program such as  asking questions of our researchers, meeting the other participants, and working in groups to solve scientific problems.

We want everyone who earns a place at ISS Online 2022 to take part so if you encounter difficulties with any of the computing and IT requirements, please let us know and also discuss with both your school and others in your local community. 

By working together, we can try to find a solution.

Applications for ISS Online will open in January 2022. Register your interest to get a reminder when the application form goes live.

Around 120 students from across Australia will be invited to take part in ISS Online 2022. 

We have selection panels in each state and territory to assist in the selection of students, based on the following criteria:

  • Only Australian citizens or permanent residents currently attending school in Australia may use the application form. We do not accept applications from Australian students studying overseas.
  • Applicants must be in Year 11 or 12 in 2022 (final two years of high school).
  • Applicants should achieve the highest grades in the top-level syllabi of English, Science and Mathematics in their year 10 exams and/or most recent year 11 assessments (e.g. ‘A’ grade, or > 80%, or equivalent).
  • Applicants should be assessed by their school’s Principal as one of the top science students in their year group at school, and must supply supporting comments from their Head of Science Department and/or School Principal. Preference may be given to students whose vocational interest is a career in the sciences.
  • Applicants should be studying at least 50% Science and Mathematics subjects in year 11 or 12.
  • Applicants must be clear communicators and be able to represent their school and state at the International Science School.

Our selection panels will make selections based on the above criteria, as well as aiming for a balance of participants based on gender, location, school system and relative opportunity. 

All selections are final and at the discretion of the University of Sydney and organisers of the ISS Online program.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are under-represented in science and engineering in Australia which is why the ISS aims to bring talented, enthusiastic Indigenous Australian students together with like-minded scholars from across Australia and around the globe.

The ISS Indigenous Australian Scholars Program reserves five scholarships to attend ISS Online for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants. 

Applicants are selected against the same criteria of interest in science and academic achievement, and their applications are included in the general selection process. 

If unsuccessful in that round, they may be eligible for one of the five reserved Indigenous Scholar places.

If you wish to apply for one of these scholarships, you will need to upload some evidence of your Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background when you apply. 

This can be any one of the following:

  • your birth records or documentation of genealogy verified by a suitable authority; or
  • a letter with 'Common Seal' signed by the Chairperson of an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander incorporated organisation in which the applicant lives or has previously lived (where records are not available); or
  • you can self-identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander with a statutory declaration that you are an Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

More details of the Indigenous Scholars Program will be available when the applications open in January.

Details for the ISS Online week are still being developed, but it will include:

  • The ISS Lecture Series: It is the backbone of the program and features talks by world-leading researchers from across the sciences and engineering. In the past we have had Nobel prize winners alongside up-and-coming researchers — all with an inspiring story to tell!
  • Activities and tours: Although we can’t get welcome you physically inside our amazing research labs and classrooms, we can still get hands-on with experiments, tours, and workshops to extend your skills, get your brains working, and help you get to know each other. You’ll participate in virtual tours, get to meet our brilliant scientists as they show you around their labs, and work in groups to solve problems with our engaging science outreach team.
  • Social program: Just because we’re not all together doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ourselves, right? Our amazing ISS team will host a series of online social events, potentially including trivia, games tournaments, streamed movie nights and themed virtual discos.