About the ISS

The Professor Harry Messel International Science School (or the ISS, as we like to call it) is a visionary science event created for academically gifted high school students. The two-week fully residential program is offered totally free of charge by the School of Physics through the Physics Foundation, which was established in 1954 and is dedicated to the pursuit of academic excellence. The ISS has been held on the University of Sydney campus since its inception in 1962.

The ISS gathers together 140 top science students from up to nine countries (Australia, China, Japan, India, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the USA and the United Kingdom) for a two-week program of inspiring talks by world-renowned scientists, laboratory tours and hands-on activities ... not to mention a swag of social events like the Sydney Harbour cruise and ISS talent quest!

The ISS lectures are given by leading research scientists from Australia and overseas. In addition, the incomparable Dr Karl Kruszelnicki — Julius Sumner Miller Fellow and renowned TV and radio science guru — is a regular ISS guest, presenting some of his Great Moments in ScienceTM.

Beyond the lecture theatres the ISS gives students a chance to explore real research labs, get their hands dirty on a wide range of experiments and activities, and meet a hoard of like-minded science-mad students from all over the world.

Follow the links on the left to learn about the history of the ISS, our valued partners and supporters, and all who have donated to keep the ISS running in perpetuity through the Messel Endowment.