October 23, 2014 - Events

International Students Science Fair – Moscow 2014

ISSF Moscow 2014 With JMSS Students

10th International Student Science Fair in Moscow – 8th to 12th August 2014

After much preparation in the planning, research, testing and presentation of our projects and a 20-hour journey on the plane, we finally reached our destination, Moscow Russia. Our buddies from the Moscow Chemical Lyceum (MCL) met us at the airport and we began our sightseeing straight away. The city of Moscow is simply beautiful. It is a classic mix of stunning cathedrals, European style architecture and modern buildings in the business center. The majestic Stalin buildings known as the seven sisters, the Kremlin and St Basils Cathedral were among the most impressive.

The 10th ISSF (International Student Science Fair) extended over five days and was a mixture of scientific presentations, lectures, cultural experiences and intense socialisation. With the poster presentation and plenary sessions successfully completed within the first two days, the remaining days were a daze of meeting new people and not only experiencing the culture of different people from across 18 countries but also the unique culture of the host school. We attended lectures by eminent Russian professors on knot and braid theory, environment and sustainability, and a physics lab on waves. There was also an afternoon at the Moscow Chemical Lyceum (MCL) where we were entertained by a chemistry show and an astounding musical performance by the students ranging from belly dancing to extracts from Bizet’s Carmen to scenes from Romeo and Juliet to traditional Russian folk songs, just to name a few highlights! The students of the MCL are highly talented and passionate about music and performance as well as science and mathematics. Tours around the sponsor university PFUR (People’s Friendship University of Russia) of various science based faculties and a group bus tour around Moscow were also part of the schedule. Many evenings were spent learning traditional Russian dances and songs, which were performed at the closing ceremony by all participating students. The fair came to an end with our team, along with our buddies, performing the cultural presentation in the hand-over ceremony and a blitzing disco.

As for the science part of the fair, it was truly intriguing and inspiring. The diversity of projects ranged from simple yet highly beneficial and sustainable inventory ideas to cutting-edge research such as genetic manipulation and synthesis of new organic molecules. It was enlightening to see what our peers from other countries are researching. We hope the bonds we formed at this student science fair will promote cross-cultural research opportunities in our futures.

The highlight, apart from the delightful summer days, were our Russian buddies and friends. Their passion for life, expert care of us, knowledge of history and culture, and kindness made every moment in Russia a memorable and beautiful one. The days of adventure we shared as we went through the city and its complex underground metro is something that made this an experience of a lifetime.

“Memories made. Bonds forged. ISSN created” describes our trip to Moscow. The ISSN is the newly formed International School Science Network which will support the annual International Student Science Fairs.

We cannot wait to host ISSF 2015 at John Monash Science School in December 2015, and we look forward to the return of our Russian friends and all the other participating schools.

Students of the 10th ISSF in Moscow in 2014 – we hope to see you again at the 11th ISSF hosted by JMSS from the 7th to 11th December 2015!


Article by Aiswarya Elangovan and Kathryn Grainger.

Photographs by Michael Franklin.


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