Dear STAV Individual and School Member,

I am writing to update you on STAV’s response to the rapidly and ever-evolving challenges presented by COVID-19.

STAV Office

STAV has taken and continues to take proactive steps to ensure the health and safety of its staff, volunteers, stakeholders and the broader community.

On Tuesday 24 March, the STAV Staff commenced working remotely after a period of trials in preparation for the likelihood of staff working from home. There has been a smooth transition to these working arrangements and we are well prepared as an organisation to ensure you continue to receive as uninterrupted a service as possible. All staff will continue to receive and respond to their emails as per normal practice. Should you be ordering any of our resources, you will continue to receive these and will be advised if there are any delays or otherwise.

Remote working arrangements will remain in place until such time that it is deemed safe by the relevant authorities.

In the interim, to ensure that you continue to receive uninterrupted service, you can contact the STAV Office via phone (03) 9385 3999; or via email: Natalija at admin@stav.vic.edu.au, Anne at stav@stav.vic.edu.au, and Violet at payments@stav.vic.edu.au.

Teacher Professional Learning

STAV Council has been monitoring advice from the Federal and State Governments on a regular basis, and will be meeting in the coming days to review the latest advice in so far as it impacts the conference program and methods of delivery. Planning for conferences scheduled to take place from July 2020 onwards, continues in earnest. Those which are currently under review are: the VCE Psychology workshop, Friday 22 May; STAV Lab Tech Conference, Friday 5 June; and STAV Science Leaders’ Conference, Friday 12 June. I will write to you to update you in due course.

STAV continues to work in collaboration with key stakeholders, including the VCAA. We have recently received some enquiries from members regarding additional support for remote delivery of the VCE. STAV will continue to forward relevant information to its members regarding announcements from the VCAA, and through expertise on STAV Council, will facilitate support of Victorian teachers in the coming weeks and months. Please check your STAV emails and social media regularly over the holiday period and weeks to follow.

Professional learning is a thread which connects all STAV working parties. As a STAV member, if you wish to contribute to what will be a massive effort, please contact me at president@stav.vic.edu.au Your support would be most welcome.

Teacher and Student Resources

As STAV members, you have access to our member access area. In this area you will locate current and past STAV publications. We are planning to develop this area further, so that in conjunction with STAV’s regular email bulletins and posts on our social media, you will be able to have access to additional advice.

You will have noticed that we took the unprecedented decision to make our first quarter journals for 2020, LFO and LabTalk, freely available to all. This decision has been met with favour. We understand that those in schools require additional support at this time and STAV is committed to facilitating all forms of communication and connectedness across the state.

As previously communicated, the office will be closed over the Easter break from Tuesday 9 April to Monday 13 April inclusive.

STAV Publishing continues to provide access to valuable assessment materials in the form of past and current practice examination materials. You are able order all STAV Publishing resources online.

A rich source of project-based curriculum materials for remote learning is The Science Talent Search (STS). The current STS handbook is available on the website. The STS PD Kit will be shared with you when you place an email request with STS Coordinator, Janice Teng, sts@stav.vic.edu.auOur STS PD Kit is free of charge and contains advice universal to most forms of project-based learning, as well as examples of past student projects. STS assessment rubrics for each of the competition categories and student self-assessment checklists are available here.

And a variety of other resources are available to support students and teachers at the following links: http://www.sciencevictoria.com.au/sts/forTeachers.html http://www.sciencevictoria.com.au/sts/forStudentParent.html

If you have any queries regarding STS registration and/or support materials, please contact Janice. Registrations for the current year’s competition are open, with all judging having been moved online.

I also encourage you to make further use of your STAV membership by accessing the ASTA website and its resources. ASTA is currently looking into moving its journal, Teaching Science, online and one vital resource in these times is Science ASSIST. If you are not yet registered for Science ASSIST enews, I strongly encourage you to do so as the advice being provided on OH&S and practical work is second to none. 

In closing, please know that your membership is of vital importance to STAV. STAV leadership, Council, volunteers and Staff have worked tirelessly these past few weeks, and will continue to do so to ensure the continuation of services to our members and to Science education more broadly. I thank all who give of their time for their efforts and unwavering dedication. STAV is only as strong as its membership and we ask you to consider suggesting STAV Individual membership to colleagues at this time. We are a profession blessed with secure work at this time but one that is faced with unique challenges. It is vital that we band together to meet these challenges.

On behalf of STAV Council, I would like to ask all our community to stay safe and to work with us to support our diverse and strong community of practice.

I will provide further updates in due course. In the mean-time, if you wish to contact me directly, please feel free to do so: president@stav.vic.edu.au

Stay safe and well, and enjoy some rest during the holiday break.

Alexandra Abela

STAV President