NSTF Science Programmes

NSTF-Science is a series of educational programmes run by the National Student Travel Foundation on a philanthropic basis to popularise science and generate awareness and interest amongst students at all education levels (primary, secondary, post-secondary and tertiary levels) of the nation in the importance of science and scientific research to one's daily life and to experience and promote science out of the classroom through hands-on projects, exhibitions, experimentation, research and discussion from both a scientific and ethical perspective".

NSTF began its involvement in science in 1984 by selecting students who excelled in science at post-secondary level to participate in the London International Science Forum. The National Student Travel Foundation has over the past years developed a number of Science Programmes, outlined above, to increase the interest of students in Science and Technology, and encourage them to read for degrees in science and take up careers within this sphere. Therefore this project is a major opportunity to attract younger generations to study in the field of science, technology and related fields, and also to to popularise and create awareness amongst the public about the growing importance of science and the way it affects our everyday lives.

The project is divided into 6 programmes (each programme targets a specific age group) and reaches its climax at the Science Expo for which over 4000 students attend. All programmes are monitored by a panel of judges who follow the rules and regulations established before the contest is launched.

NSTF is also a member of MILSET (Mouvement International pour le Loisir Scientifique et Technique), the International Movement for Leisure Activities in Science and Technology.

NSTF is also a partner of the Google Science Fair, an online science competition, open to students between the ages of 13 and 18 from around the world.


Follow NSTF - Science  

Little Scientists' Village

The Little Scientists’ Village was established in 2006. Its main objective is “to introduce young children into the world of science, making them aware that science can be found all around them and is accessible to everyone.” Through this educational programme primary school children aged 6-8, participate in hands-on science activities as well as create their own scientific interactive experiments. Activities include displays in various scientific forms using a variety of mediums such as theatre, art and music. This event is organised in conjunction with the Institute of Art and Design at MCAST.

Rules & Regulations  

Science Photo Contest

The NSTF Science Photo Contest is a programme through which students and youth discover science through photography. Participants present a photo along with a title and a description of maximum 200 words. The photo/s should depict any scientific phenomenon, natural life or any setting in the field of astronomy. Participants can compete through more than 1 entry. A panel of judges adjudicates the photos. The best photos are displayed during the NSTF Science Expo and the best entry will be awarded a camera. The best 10 photographs will be displayed during expos set by NSTF partners including MILSET (International Movement for Leisure Activities in Science and Technology [MILSET – Mouvement International pour le Loisir Scientifique et Technique] and published in magazines and get the chance to win further prizes.

Rules and Regulation | Examples | Application 

(c) David Pace, Winner Science Photo Contest - Milset

Science Art Contest

The Science Art Contest was launched in 2002. Its main objective is "to encourage young school children aged six to eight years to express their idea of a selected Science theme in a creative manner through art.” Through this educational programme primary school children create an illustration on the chosen theme by using any form of artistic medium. The students who present the best drawing from each school are awarded a prize related to science. The best 50 artworks are exhibited during the Science Expo and the best 20 artworks are exhibited at an Expo Science Europe/International or at the Belgian Science Expo. A Certificates of participation is presented to each participant.


Rules and Regulations | Description | Application 

Primary School Contest for Young Scientists

The NSTF Primary School Contest for Young Scientists (PSCYS) was launched in 2014. The  Objectives  of  the PSCYS  is to encourage young students from the ages of 8 to 10 to participate in scientific  activity  and  get  involved  with  Science  subjects  hands-on  to  discover  the science of the world around them through basic research and experimentation. Students create an experiment or conduct a scientific research study which is showcased at the NSTF Science Expo. 


Rules and Regulations| Description | Application 

School Contest for Young Scientists

The School Contest for Young Scientists was also launched in 2002. Its main objective is “to encourage young students aged eleven to fourteen to participate in scientific activity and involve themselves hands-on with Science subjects so as to discover the science of the world around them through research and experimentation." Students team up and conduct research and design a model on a scientific topic of their choice. This project is then exhibited during the NSTF Science Week and presented to other visiting students and the general public. Winners visit the Natural History Museum in Brussels. Book prizes are also presented. A certificate of participation is presented to each participant.


Rules and Regulations | Description | Application

School Lab

The British Council, together with National Student Travel Foundation (NSTF), has launched a new competition for students from Form 1 to Form 4. School Lab invites students to team up and record a 3 - 5 minute video were they talk about any science topic.

This topic can be the same as the their NSTF School Contest for Young Scientists topic. School lab inspires students to learn more about science, to talk more about science, and make their school science experiences creative and fun.


Rules and Regulations Description FAQ | Application 




Contest for Young Scientists

The Contest for Young Scientists was launched in 1997. The main objective is “to encourage students aged fourteen to twenty-one to be original and creative in conducting scientific research and developing a scientific or technological project.” Students work either individually or in teams to research and develop their own original scientific project which is then exhibited during the Science Expo. In 1997 the Ministry of Education nominated NSTF as the National Organiser of the EU Contest for Young Scientists organised by the EU Commission. As a result the team placing first represents Malta at the EU Contest for Young Scientists. Other prizes include participation in the Expo Science Europe/International and book prizes.


Rules and Regulations | Description Application 

Malta Student Science Forum

The Malta Student Science Forum was established in 1994. The main objective is “To provide students aged between sixteen and twenty two years with the opportunity to train in research, analysis and presentation, public speaking, debate, mutual respect, current science affairs, and to complement their formal science education through discussion on relevant scientific, environmental and technological topics through their scientific and ethical aspects.” Students form teams and debate various scientific issues over 6 sessions. Each session is addressed by a guest speaker specialised in the field being discussed. Winners participate in the London International Youth Science Forum and the International Wildlife Research Week.


Applications for NSTF MSSF 2016/2017 are open and shall close on Friday 28th October 2016 noon.

Rules and Regulations | Application 

Fame Lab

Fame Lab is an international scientific talks competition with the aim of nurturing the communication of science by identifying, training and introducing new talents. Fame Lab Malta is being organised by the British Council and Esplora, in collaboration with the Malta Arts Council, supported by the Ministry of Education, Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport, University of Malta, the Malta Chamber of Scientists and NSTF Malta.

Fame Lab involves the following phases:

  • 1st phase: Auditions take place during the Science Expo (Dates to be announced) Ten finalists will be chosen by a jury to participate in the Masterclass and National Final.
  • 2nd phase: Masterclass – Those selected for the National Final will take part in a two-day residential Masterclass by British science communication expert . The Masterclass will focus on communication techniques so as to polish up their oral expression and enhance their communication skills.
  • 3rd phase: National Final – ten finalists will give their presentations in front of a jury and live audience. The jury will select a winner to take part in the international final at the Cheltenham Science Festival.
  • 4th phase: International Final – The Maltese winner will take part in the FameLab International Final at the Cheltenham Science Festival.  More information on the festival at cheltenhamfestivals.com.

For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/FameLabMalta/ and http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/about/famelab/.



NSTF Science Days in Gozo 2015

Following the success of the first edition of the 'NSTF Science Days in Gozo,' NSTF held the second edition of this science popularisation event in Gozo between the 9th and 11th of March 2015 at the Gozo College Boys' Secondary (Rabat).

During this event all art work, models and research conducted by Gozitan students in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and related subjects as part of the NSTF Science programmes, were displayed at the Boys' Secondary School.

The event was open for all Gozitan Students to visit during schools hours. During the same event science communicators organised interactive sessions for the students.

The success of this event depends on the participation of students. We highly encourage each school to participate in as many competitions as possible depending on the age groups. Prizes were given to all the winners in an awards night which was held on the 11th March in the evening at the Gozo College Boys' Secondary School.

The competitions and prizes are:

Science Art Contest (years 1-3)
A science book will be awarded for the best entry from each school.

Primary School Contest for Young Scientists (years 4-6)
The participants of the winning project will be awarded a science educational kit.

School Contest for Young Scientists (Forms 1-5)
Students and teacher will go abroad on a science tour.

Contest for Young Scientists (sixth form and post sec colleges including MCAST)
Winners will participate in the EU Contest for Young Scientists taking place in Milan.

Science Photo Contest (all ages)
A camera will be awarded to the best entry from Gozo

For more information please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 2558 8241.

Call 2015 

Call for Teachers 2015 


In 2014/2015 the following sessions were held during the NSTF Science Days in Gozo:

Cell Explorers

School of Natural Sciences
National University of Ireland Galway

“Fantastic DNA”
Hands on molecular biology with Cell EXPLORERS

Salome Matos

PhD Student, University of Edinburgh

Ask an Astronomer!

Sharklab Malta

Sharklab Malta is a registered NGO in Malta and is a non-profit voluntary organisation dedicated to research, education and raising greater awareness about all Elasmobranch (Sharks, Rays, Skates and Chimaeras) around Malta and within the Mediterranean.

Join Sharklab Malta on an interactive journey beneath the surface of the blue planet and learn all about the amazing world of Sharks and other amazing animals which call this place home and the important roles they play in keeping the planet running during the NSTF Science Days in Gozo.

Starting on the shore we will journey along the beach for signs of their presence, enter the shallows and finally explore the darkness of the deep sea.



eLearning Centre within the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education (DQSE) and the Directorate for Educational Services (DES)

Mechanical Science



Exhibitions from the various institutions at MCAST Gozo


The NSTF Science Expo

The Science Expo is an annual exhibition of students' creative works, experiments, researched findings and original projects, as well as a forum for the promotion, explanation and discussion of various selected themes. It also serves as the peak of the five science programmes that run throughout the academic year. It is held during March/April of each year. Students in tertiary, post-secondary, secondary and primary level of education participating in a Science programme, exhibit and explain their project. Schools organise class group visits for their students. Students in tertiary, post-secondary, secondary and primary level of education visit the week long exhibition, interact with student exhibitors and receive explanations and demonstrations. The general public visits the exhibition and informs itself on the projects exhibited. Guest performers from abroad run workshops and shows on science phenomena throughout the week. A panel of local and foreign judges adjudicate the exhibits and announce the results and project winners at the end of Science Expo. 

The 2015 edition of the NSTF Science Expo took place at the Institute of Applied Science, MCAST (Paola) from the 21st to the 27th March 2015. The Awards night took place on the 28th March 2015 at the Auditorium, MCAST.

For more information on the past editions of the NSTF Science Expo kindly follow the links below: 


Call 2015 - Primary

Call 2015 - Secondary  

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NSTF Education Programme Partner

NSTF Education Programme Patron

NSTF Project Supporter 2015/16

NSTF Project Contributor 2015/16