At Park House English School, learning is at the heart of everything we do. As a member of the International School Partnership global group of schools, our students benefit from being part of a wider international community, providing a wealth of learning and cultural opportunities. Our International Learning Opportunities (ILOS) give students the chance to connect with other ISP students from around the world.

I am an ISP Scientist is a new ILOS project, launching in February 2021. Park House English School students aged 8-14 are invited to participate in a real-world STEM research project through citizen science, enabling them to:

• Connect classroom learning to real research
• Develop a greater understanding of the scientific methodology
• Participate in enquiry-based learning
• Practise transferable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork and communication

The project also includes inspiring opportunities to engage with STEM professionals behind cutting-edge scientific innovation and discovery, encouraging ISP students to consider and explore a wide range of STEM careers.

The Project

The theme for this year will be plastic pollution, and we are partnering with the fantastic team at Ellipsis Earth* to enable ISP students to use cutting edge technology to help map the journey of missing plastic and identify trends to help influence environmental change. Students upload video and stills of litter from their local area. This could be around the school grounds, near their home as homework, or you could organise a school trip to an area off-site. Ellipsis AI software then blends multiple photos into a master image for enhanced geospatial mapping. Using custom machine learning, Ellipsis software can identify plastic with a 93% accuracy and 95% certainty.

Ellipsis software can then classify exactly what the plastic is, ie, plastic bottle, fishing net, bottle cap or toothbrush, to provide better context. Ellipsis creates a global heatmap of plastic waste that can be filtered and overlaid against existing data sets and compared geographically and over time.

*Ellipsis Earth was founded in 2019 by scientist, filmmaker and extreme environment drone pilot, Ellie Mackay. Their vision is to create an integrated ecosystem for environmental change, through global research, education, exploration and creative media, all underpinned by Ellipsis’ unique algorithm technology for mapping the missing 99%.