FAQs

who are Ellipsis Earth?


Ellipsis Earth is a UK-based sustainable startup specialising in technology-driven data collection - in short, we developed a computer system to make environmental surveying more accurate, easy, safe, fast and reliable than traditional data collection methods. Check out our tech page here. Our founder is award-winning science-communicator and former educator Ellie Mackay - you can read more about her here. She is super proud of her incredible team of scientists, engineers and storytellers who have brought Ellipsis Earth’s work to life. We are passionate about using this data to tell better stories, paint better pictures, and drive greater change; ultimately making the planet healthier and happier and its people more informed, educated and more engaged in environmental solutions. An ‘ellipsis’ (‘...’) is used in text where there is information missing, or where there is an uncertain ending… our goal is to fill in the knowledge gap and write a better future for ourselves and our planet. With knowledge, we can...




what is the Ellipsis Educate platform?


Our bespoke ‘Educate’ platform is a complete online learning system designed to teach students about data collection, surveying and scientific experiments, and then allowing them to take part in their very own Ellipsis Earth data collection as citizen scientists. Surrounding this is a whole range of educational materials about pollution, recycling, litter, materials and product design, data analysis, storytelling and science communication. Students work through the course in their own time, to become contributors to a global dataset and, through our impact-driven projects, environmental changemakers.




who can take part?


The Ellipsis Educate programme is open to everyone - individuals, classes, schools or groups (such as schools groups or local eco-groups). The course content is aligned to international curriculum topics, so it suits school students of different ages, however anyone with an interest in mapping litter and learning about communicating their data can take part. We run three age groups concurrently - junior for 8-12 year olds, middle for 12-16 year olds, and senior for 16-18 year olds. We also have a higher education programme for HE colleges and university students - find out more here.




how do I sign up?


Booking is now open for our October 2021 course, with advance registration for our February 2022 course coming soon. You can book here or submit your registration for custom pricing if you are a whole school or group. Teachers or school administrators can sign up individually or as a group, please contact us if you would like to join as a school or group of schools.




how much does it cost?


Our courses start at £27 per student. This includes full access to the online portal, download and use of the Ellipsis Earth app, all online educational course content, access to the complete live webinar series, and certification for all students completing the course. Customer support is provided as standard to all throughout the project. Class bookings, school bookings or group bookings are discounted - please contact us today to find out more We are currently offering an earlybird discount of 40% off for the first 500 bookings for October 2021. Book here today.




can I have a free trial?


Our courses are not currently available as a free trial, however we offer discounted pricing for Earlybird bookings for all teachers interested in testing our platform. Group or class bookings include a free teacher account which includes access to the teacher forum, community support hub and online guidance, to ask any questions you have about the course and to hear from other participating teachers from around the world. In addition, we offer an online teacher info webinar where you can ask questions and find out more before you book. Register your interest here to receive more details about this webinar. Earlybird discounts of 40% off are available for the first 500 bookings for the October 2021 course. Book here today.




when does it take place?


Ellipsis Earth runs three open Educate courses per year, one starting in October, one starting in February and one starting in May. Students can participate in the course in their own time, taking from 6 to 60 days. Click here to book one of our upcoming courses. Ellipsis Earth also runs bespoke courses to fit specific dates if required, as well as private courses for a custom group of students which includes private access to our scientist webinars and dedicated student presentation days. Submit a request here for more information about our bespoke courses.




how long does the project take?


Students can participate in the course in their own time, taking anything from 6 to 60 days. Most students complete the course in 30-45 days depending on frequency and time spent each week on the modules. Overview of course timings: Online course requirement: junior 8-10 hours total middle 12-16 hours total senior 18-24 hours total HE: custom timings Survey time requirement: ranges from 1hr - 12 hrs depending on frequency and duration of survey methods chosen. Average time spent surveying is 3-5 hrs over 1-3 weeks. Webinar time requirement: 6 x 1 hour webinars, delivered over 6-8 weeks Communication piece time requirement: Minimum 2 hours, can be as long as you like Average total time to complete the entire course (over maximum 60 days): junior: approx. 18 hours middle: approx. 20 hours senior: approx. 30 hours HE: custom timings Please note these are average and approximate timings only - students may work at their own pace and can therefore complete the course more or less quickly than these suggested timings depending on their availability, workload and familiarity with the topics.




when is the deadline for signing up?


Our next course runs in October 2021:

  • Earlybird deadline (40% off): first 500 bookings
  • Standard deadline: 15th September 2021
  • Late deadline (5% late fee): 30th September 2021
  • Course opens: 4th October 2021 until 8th December 2021
  • Certificates and awards: From 7th December 2021




how many students can participate?


There is no limit to the number of students who can participate. Several of the exercises in the online course have optional teamwork elements, which work best in small groups, but the course can also be completed independently. The more students are involved at the same time, the greater the sense of global community and the more results students will have to compare and discuss. Note students do not have to be physically present to participate as a team - they can work remotely as a group. We offer discounted pricing for more than 5 students if booked together; this includes family bookings, class bookings, school bookings or school consortia bookings. Click here to enquire about discounted pricing for multiple students.




can I participate at another time?


The upcoming October course is open to all students and schools to participate together. If you cannot participate at this time, if you would like to deliver the course in your own schedule, or if you would like exclusive participation for your school(s) only, Ellipsis Earth offers tailored courses to fit your own timing and content. Click here to find out more about pricing and availability for bespoke courses.




who is this suitable for?


The Ellipsis Educate platform is suitable for all students aged 8-18+, from any country. The course is especially designed to incorporate elements of STEM curriculum topics, principles of real-world scientific methodology, environmental awareness, critical thinking, creative arts and connection to natural systems, as well as fostering social responsibility and ambassadorial approaches to environmental wellbeing. Our courses are accessible for students with a wide range of abilities, backgrounds and circumstances, and suit students with a wide range of academic abilities and interests. If you have any particular questions about your students’ suitability to participate, please do not hesitate to contact us.




what age group is it for?


Our programmes are designed for 8-18+ year olds, with three levels of online course material being aimed at junior (8-12), middle (12-16) and senior (16-18) cohorts, plus a higher learning course for HE colleges and universities. All courses cover similar topics and themes with differentiated exercises for a range of academic levels. Our junior courses explore broad themes of environmental awareness and engagement with introductions to scientific thinking and encouraging engagement with STEM and environment, while our middle and senior courses are tailored to curriculum topics and terminology across multiple international disciplines. Our HE courses incorporate tertiary learning content as well as higher level fieldwork skills and independent research.




I’m not a STEM teacher, can my students still take part?


Of course! We welcome students and teachers from any subject to participate. Our programmes incorporate STEM, Geography, Creative Arts & Media and IT, and well as economics, citizenship, politics, design and more. Students can participate in scheduled classroom learning but also as an after-school activity or as part of eco-group or environmental club.




how much time do I need to give?


Students will be expected to commit an average of 18 to 30 hours depending on their age group and scope of their chosen project. Teachers may accompany students for some or all of this time, but it is likely that the majority can be conducted independently. Teacher/parent commitment is a minimum of around 5-10 hours over the two months of the programme, but could be higher if desired.




how much time do the students need to complete the course?


Students will be expected to commit an average of 18 to 30 hours depending on their age group and scope of their chosen project. Students can participate in the course in their own time, taking anything from 6 to 60 days. Most students complete the course in 30-40 days depending on frequency and time spent each week on the modules. Overview of course timings: Online course requirement: junior 8-10 hours total middle 12-16 hours total senior 18-24 hours total HE: custom timings Survey time requirement: ranges from 1hr - 12 hrs depending on frequency and duration of survey methods chosen. Average time spent surveying is 3-5 hrs over 1-3 weeks. Webinar time requirement: 6 x 1 hour webinars, delivered over 6-8 weeks Communication piece time requirement: Minimum 2 hours, can be longer Average total time to complete the full course (over maximum 60 days): junior: approx. 18 hours middle: approx. 20 hours senior: approx. 30 hours HE: custom timings Please note these are average and approximate timings only - students may work at their own pace and can therefore complete the course more or less quickly than these suggested timings depending on their availability, workload and familiarity with the topics. Please note these are average and approximate timings only - students may work at their own pace and can therefore complete the course more or less quickly than these suggested timings depending on their availability, workload and familiarity with the topics.




does this need to be supervised?


The Ellipsis Educate course is predominantly student-led, self-guided and independent, though some teachers choose to lead the course as part of classroom teaching and for younger students adult supervision or guidance is recommended. The online course modules include a number of exercises which can be supervised or independent. The complete course guide provided to all registrants contains information on the supervision and time requirements of each section of the course. The fieldwork element of the course requires students to collect real-world data. This can be conducted in schools, in local communities or neighbourhoods, or within students’ own homes. There is no requirement to travel or go off-site, although this might be an option at your discretion. We recommend younger students are accompanied by an adult for any surveys which take place in public areas. For more information about survey requirements, please contact us.




can this be done at home?


The course can be completed entirely online and remotely for students who are home-schooled or in lockdown, all they need is an internet connection. In 2020 and 2021 many students participated from their homes and local neighbourhoods. The information pack for registrants contains a breakdown of recommended timings and optional equipment required to complete the course at home.




what will my students learn?


Participating in the Ellipsis Educate programme offers a wide range of learning opportunities, covering everything from curriculum content to global stewardship. Examples of some of the course content includes:

  • rethinking plastics
  • recycling and the circular economy
  • materials science and product design
  • fieldwork skills
  • geographical surveying & mapping
  • computer design and AI
  • scientific method
  • experimental design
  • data analysis
  • mathematics for scientific research
  • sampling techniques
  • ecosystem science
  • environmental stewardship
  • science communication
creative design infographics & scientific storytelling being a changemaker




what is the app for?


The Ellipsis Earth app is a scientific tool for students to submit images from their fieldwork surveys. Students design their own methodology and use the app to collect their data and submit it directly to the Ellipsis Earth platform for analysis. The app is user-friendly, multilingual and available for all devices. Please note the app requires access to location services in order to map student data, your device must have location services enabled via wifi, 3/4/5G or other gps. The app can be downloaded on to any smartphone or device and each student will have their own login details.




how do I use the platform?


The Ellipsis Earth programme includes access for teachers and students to their own dedicated portal for the duration of the programme. The teacher portal contains all student progress, scores, feedback and overview of data and results. Student portals contain each student’s data and work. Students can also work in groups and share their data between groups or classes. The app and portal are both easy to use and navigate. The teacher portal includes a teacher forum to connect with other teachers around the world as well as a support forum for submitting requests or issues to our technical support staff who are on hand throughout the programme, and who can also provide How-To Guides on using the portal, app and education modules. Please note the portal and app adhere to all international guidelines for child safety and GDPR/data protection rules. Students are given unique and anonymised login details to prevent any identifying information being held on our systems. The app and portal automatically reject any non-approved data submissions.




what equipment do I need?


The minimum requirements for participation are an internet connection and a wifi or gps enabled smartphone or device to download the app. If you do not have a wifi- or gps- enabled smartphone it is still possible to participate using alternative data collection methods - please contact us to find out more. All additional equipment is fully optional and includes:

  • fieldwork equipment eg 100m measuring tape or distance marker (non-essential as this can be measured using a smartphone)
  • demonstration equipment for sampling methods including baking tray or a large box, coloured beans or beads, paper and string (all information and methods provided in the teacher portal). This demonstration is also available as a video for students who do not have access to this equipment.
  • paper, card, colouring pens, craft materials for making creative artwork for the final module of the course
  • option to create e.g. animations, graphics, video, podcast or website for the creative module could require access to computer software, filming or editing equipment (a lot of this can also be done using a smartphone)




how is the course assessed?


This is a student-led course with teacher guidance. Students mark each module as completed, with scores for quizzes and tasks automatically uploaded into the teacher portal for oversight of student progress. Students are also assessed on their final creative communication piece with all guidance provided for teachers and scoring easily completed within the portal. Students must participate in a minimum number of exercises within each module to complete the course.




what do students get for completing the course?


Upon completion of the course and sign-off that students have met the course requirements, students will receive a Certificate of Completion from Ellipsis Earth that they are officially Ellipsis Earth Citizen Scientists. Students who take part in the course but do not complete the course may be eligible for a Certificate of Participation, at teacher discretion. Students who are deemed to have gone above and beyond the course requirements are eligible to be nominated for a Certificate of Excellence by their teachers. Highest-achieving students will also be considered for individual student awards by the Ellipsis Earth team and may be eligible for additional awards and prizes.




what is your privacy policy?


We follow the strictest standards of privacy rules and we are compliant with international privacy regulations including GDPR and COPPA. Please review our privacy policy and terms of use documentation.




what is your child safety policy?


We follow the strictest standards of safety and we are compliant with international child safety regulations including COPPA. Our child safety policy can be found here.




where do I find out more?


You can contact the Ellipsis Earth team using this contact form, or by emailing info@ellipsis.earth. Click here to visit our tech website Follow us on social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram




how do I contact the Ellipsis Earth team?


You can contact the Ellipsis Earth team using this contact form, or by emailing info@ellipsis.earth.




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