Student-led Research Conference 2021

Learn who's presenting in 2021!

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Published Presenters, 2021

Saachi JAIN, Grade 10

Careers and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Room: Trocadéro

Time: 11:30, 11:45 and 12:00

Personal Project Inquiry:
How can I leverage grade 4-12 students' interests in global issues to help them make more meaningful career choices in relation to the United Nations Sustainable Development goals?

Learning Conference Presentation:
Behind the Scenes of Careers InSight: How to Use Community Resources

Wiktoria perner, Grade 10, Semi-Finalist for the IB Student Innovator Grant

Sustainable fashion and cultural backgrounds

Room: Eiffel

Time: 11:30, 11:45 and 12:00

Personal Project Inquiry:
How might I create a sustainable and inexpensive piece of clothing that showcases my cultural background?

Learning Conference Presentation:
The Esprit de Corps Project
Follow the project on Instagram, @theespritdecorpsproject

caitlin turk, Grade 10

Identifying youth advocacy in climate change and identifying the factors of success

Room: Kennedy

Time: 11:30, 11:45 and 12:00

Personal Project Inquiry:
How might I research, analyze and evaluate a variety of youth climate advocates, then use that knowledge to create a video that explores their factors of success and how they have impact on climate change?

Learning Conference Presentation:
Personal Project: A Learning Experience

Tess Naquet-radiguet, Grade 10

Identifying commonalities in the justification of targeted assassinations by diverging nation states

Room: Alma

Time: 11:30, 11:45 and 12:00

Personal Project Inquiry:
How might I raise awareness about the morality of targeted assassinations through hands-on workshops with students in grades six and eight?

Learning Conference Presentation:
Personal Project: A Learning Experience

Other Presenters

Nikita, Grade 5

Composing a Song

Room: Beethoven

Time: 11:00 and 11:15

Marina, Grade 5

Expressing Ourselves Through Dance

Room: Cortambert

Time: 11:00 and 11:15


Mary, Grade 5

Animal Abandonment

Room: Ranelagh

Time: 11:00 and 11:15

animal activist

SUmar, Grade 5

Child Development

Room: Passy

Time: 11:00 and 11:15

Emma, Grade 5

Art Therapy and Expressionism Art

Room: Carousel

Time: 11:00 and 11:15


Yael and Amaya, Grade 4

Sewing by Hand and Machine

Room: Liberté

Time: 11:00 and 11:15

List of materials needed to sew by hand or machine.

Louise, Grade 5

How Does Music Affect People?

Room: Boulogne

Time: 11:00 and 11:15

How music affects people

Leo, Grade 5

Animal Poaching

Room: Bir Hakeim

Time: 11:00 and 11:15

Joshua SaHgal, ISP Graduate

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Surviving the Extended Essay (EE) and the Internal Assessments (IAs)

Room: Seine

Time: 11:30, 11:45 and 12:00

The Gardening Club (kordelia, eloise, hektor)

Join the Gardening Club!

Room: Champ de Mars

Time: 11:30, 11:45 and 12:00

The Middle School News

How to Make the Middle School News

Room: Cortambert

Time: 11:30, 11:45 and 12:00

Haruka, Grade 11

How I Taught Myself to Make Jewellery

Room: Bir Hakeim

Time: 11:30, 11:45 and 12:00

Staff Research Fellows, 2021

human library

Assil charara (grade 1)


marianne freire (english as an additional language)

Creating a Human Library

Inquiry:  How might we increase the visibility of the Human Library to facilitate inquiry at ISP?

The focus of our research is to provide learners with authentic and diverse engagements with experts in different fields.

We chose to continue the development of the Human Library because it provides our students with a social and experiential learning experience by interacting with experts in different domains. 

We are collecting data through surveys, observations and interviews. 

Some challenges have been: 

  • Technical obstacles related to the accessibility and usability of the Human Books catalogue.
  • Having enough survey entries in order to have more reliable data to analyze.
  • Encouraging more teachers and students to use the Human Library.

Branka vasic (English as an additional language)

Resource Provision to English as Additional Language Students in Individuals and Societies Courses

Inquiry: To what extent will teachers of Individuals and Societies (I&S) in grade 6 and 7 use available differentiation resources, if they are provided in a timely and relevant manner.

I chose this because I felt that available and often costly resources were not being used effectively as they were often not timely nor relevant. I wanted to ensure that differentiated resources, specifically for English as an Additional Language (EAL) students, are provided in such a way that teachers will use them.

I am collecting data through regular discussions and surveys with the grade 6 and 7 Individuals & Societies (I&S) teachers, as well as EAL students. A discussion was also had with the Head of Department.

Initially, I tried to provide support in the form of a booklet for EAL students which contained vocabulary, grammar, content and skills for each unit. However, this proved to not be used as efficiently as expected in classes where there was no EAL support teacher. In order to make the resources more relevant, in my next attempt, I created individual worksheets which contained vocabulary, grammar, content and skills for each unit. These could be used if and when appropriate. However, this too proved to not be as useful as expected. After several discussions with the teachers, it was decided that their unit plans should be populated with specific links to differentiation tools and resources for each particular topic within each unit. This gave teachers quick access to the resources from a document that they regularly refer to. It also gave them a choice of when and how to use them within the unit.

Another challenge that I am facing is the fact that EAL support may change next year and EAL students may be pulled out of their I&S classes, meaning that these tools may not be used.  Also, the I&S teachers will change, so the extent to which these resources are going to be used will depend on the teachers themselves.

Above, one of Branka's explanatory videos. See more videos, as well as text resources, at this link

SElene Lourenco (Kindergarten)

Mindfulness Practices at the Primary School

Inquiry: How does practising mindfulness impacts students’ social and self-management skills, creativity, and their ability to develop resilience and management of emotions? 

This question took me to the first action of the research project, which was an insightful reflection of myself through daily meditation sessions. This introspection drove me to reflect on self-practice and the place of mindfulness in my life. I explored a mix of techniques: dance, yoga, pilates and other movement techniques. I felt this cleansing process was a necessary step before sharing mindfulness practice with other people.

Reviewing these techniques as a means of relaxation gave me some certitude on the fact that mindfulness can be many things; I realised just how broad my topic of research was. The first theory came to light. Mindfulness can be an enjoyable activity that drives people to focus on the present moment and experience calmness. 

Alongside the self-practice, time was allocated to gather information about the origins of mindfulness and the components of this approach. Additionally, meetings with the research fellows helped to shape the direction of my research project and to write a new research question:  

How might mindfulness exercises like meditation, breathing and movement help primary students solve personal challenges when playing and working?

The research helped to grow a better understanding of the origins of meditation, relaxation and mindfulness in Western countries as well as to extend knowledge of the ancient traditions in the Orient that influenced these practices. Solid proof and documentation were gathered on the benefits of these techniques in different fields. 

My interest is to bring mindfulness practice to ISP. With this research project, I want to find out if mindfulness techniques can help young students concentrate better on the task at hand, solve personal challenges and show collaborative behaviours when within a group. I decided to use breathing as the technique for the students to experience mindfulness. I invited two teachers to run mindfulness sessions with their students using this technique. We collected data on levels of energy and learning behaviours before and after each session. 

Data collected revealed that the children enjoy experiencing moments of calmness. The children embrace the experience. They easily get into a mindful routine, even asking for the sessions to happen when they feel they need it. One of the teachers commented that afternoons following a session run smoothly and are more productive. The second teacher, who does the sessions in the morning, felt the children were more focused on themselves and their task than the external activity around them.

The next step is to continue to explore and develop mindfulness practice in different grades and document the benefits until this becomes a tool in the students' kit of well-being skills.

Olivia schmidt (head of department, secondary school maths)

Escape Rooms for Engagement, Collaboration and Learning

Inquiry: How might digital escape rooms be used to boost students’ engagement, collaboration and learning?

This project originated from the period of confinement and the desire to provide students with an effective way to maintain motivation during long periods of isolation with lessons delivered only over Zoom. The initial project involved a class of 11th grade Higher Level (HL) mathematics students and sought to improve motivation and engagement which led to the research question “How may the use of a digital escape room be used to boost students’ engagement, collaboration and learning?”.


The project began with research into gamification and digital escape rooms in an educational context. This led to research into how to create an effective digital escape room, which evolved into the research and trialing of different types of escape rooms, with different concepts and focus areas explored. Data was collected through interviews and surveys of the initial test class and this year, the project has been expanded to also incorporate in-class teaching and learning in both grade 11 and the grade 12 HL mathematics classes. Through the research into engagement, collaboration and learning, this project has led to some key findings, including the role of the escape room in the teaching of Approaches to Learning (AtL) skills; not only thinking skills but also communication skills, social skills (such as collaboration) and self-management skills (including reflection). This project has opened the doors to further research into the impact of cultural norms and English proficiency and how an escape room develops and supports the International Baccalaureate (IB) Learner Profile within the curriculum. 

Watch this space for more info on ISP's first-ever whole-school escape room, which will take place on June 18th, 2021. 

Cyrille Lavalle (Science Technician, Work Experience and Sustainable DevelopMent Project Coordinator)


Emma ward (Admissions coordinator)

The ISP Sustainable Development Policy

Inquiry: How might we create and implement a sustainable development policy which is in line with the ISP Guiding Statements?

We chose this because we are engaged in sustainable development related projects, both inside and outside of ISP. Cyrille has been running the ISP Sustainable Development (SD) Project for many years, working alongside communities in Ghana, Costa Rica and Namibia. Emma has worked with refugee support organisations in Paris and short circuit cooperative groups.

We both knew that there were great SD-centred projects taking place in classrooms, during extended curriculum activities and through student service initiatives throughout the ISP community, but we wanted to create a collective commitment to sustainable development across the school, in teaching, learning, operations and external partnerships. We suspected that there was a desire from staff and students to do more, and this was confirmed through 3 community questionnaires that were sent out in March 2021. We also undertook research into sustainable development policies and projects at other schools (local and international) and organisations (universities and government entities). We presented at ISP’s environmental conference ISPEC (5.5) and formed an SD Policy committee group compromised from those staff and students who responded to our questionnaire indicating they would like to take part in making our project a reality.

Some challenges have been the sheer scale of what we want to achieve – trying to implement a new policy, guidelines and culture from scratch has sometimes felt overwhelming. There are many excellent ideas from the community but we need to plan and prioritise in order to achieve them. Getting together as a research team was also difficult – we are based on different campuses and have very different schedules. Finally, ensuring that all voices are heard has been tough – we decided to limit our questionnaires to Grade 5 and up but it is so important that all ISP students connect with our project goals if we want to create a culture of sustainable development for the future.

margo martin (vice principal, organisation for learning, secondary school)

Question Formulation Technique and Blended Learning

Inquiry: How might the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) impact student agency in inquiry in a blended learning environment?

While students have a plethora of gadgets and mediums of communication to express, create and discover the world around them, three years ago I started to find that the depth of dialogue and reflection in classroom discussions was not at a level of complexity that I knew students were capable of as we moved through units of inquiry. In fact, regardless of the freedom of choice that I provided students in projects, students were not taking creative risks in exploring concepts/topics and presenting work at a high standard consistently. Upon review of student work, I determined that many students did not really understand the differences in the types of questions employed in classroom discussions, nor did they know how to formulate questions to guide their research projects. Students were able to research questions provided, but they could not write their inquiry questions beyond the factual level, which resulted in superficial exploration of concepts.  

Every year, I introduce the three types of questions in my MYP classes: factual, debatable, and conceptual, making sure students understood the differences between the question types. I model them in lessons and through socratic conversations. Nevertheless, I was not spending sufficient time and using the most effective strategies to teach students how or when to use various types of questions. My explicit practices in teaching inquiry needed a serious overhaul. This dilemma placed me on a hunt for new strategies to teach students how to formulate and refine questions, with the hope that it would deepen ownership of the learning process and raise the level of complexity in discussions and projects. Through my research I stumbled upon the Question Formulation Technique (QFT).

In this action research project, I examine how QFT improves student agency in inquiry in a blended learning environment...

Continue reading about Margo's research here

View the full project website here.