The Science Talent Search competition is run almost entirely by a volunteer committee. Each year 25-30 dedicated teachers or retired teachers donate their valuable time to administer judging, running Exhibition and Presentation Day, and overseeing the competition rules and guidelines.
Without the committee, the competition cannot operate.
By joining the STS committee you will be helping to ensure that the competition continues to run. Just as importantly you will be having direct input into the way in which it operates and helping to maintain and improve its quality. You will gain in-depth insights into how the competition runs and the rationale behind its requirements. You will also better understand the standards required for bursary-winning projects.
There are also other professional learning and networking benefits. Being on the committee provides a wealth of professional learning opportunities, ranging from coordination and management skills, assessment skills, public speaking, communication and relationship building skills, to the opportunity to network with colleagues from other schools.
Your role on committee will benefit STS and its students, it will help you to develop professionally, and it will allow you to directly contribute to your professional association – the Science Teachers’ Association of Victoria Inc.
If you would like to know more about joining the STS committee contact the STS Project Officer.
Action Learning Opportunities
What are Action Learning Opportunities?
It is through this committee that hundreds of teachers have gained opportunities for valuable professional development not readily available elsewhere. At the same time they are participating in the administration of a worthwhile learning activity for students and contributing significantly to their profession and professional association.
Action learning opportunities involve…
Involvement with Science Talent Search committee will allow you to choose and concentrate on the area(s) of interest to you:
Assessment and reporting strategies – planning, implementing and providing feedback
Section coordinators determine judging criteria and judging guidelines, including the development of rubrics and feedback proformas.
Team work – working with colleagues from other schools
Opportunities exist for working in teams with colleagues from other schools, leadership roles, sharing ideas and teaching and learning strategies, developing deeper understanding of sound assessment principles and practices and participating in public events such as judging day and exhibition & presentation day.
Cross-curricula learning and teaching strategies
Science Talent Search offers ten sections for students to choose from – all with cross-curricula focus. Class Projects, Posters, Games, Creative Writing, Working Models, Inventions, Computer Programs, Video Productions and Science Photography all provide a great deal of scope for working with other discipline areas.
You can nominate your interest in taking on a public speaking role at Exhibition and Presentation day. By acting as MC you will be speaking to an audience of 100 – 200 people, consisting of students, teachers, parents and sponsors.
Organise and administer public student events – judging day and exhibition day
As a section coordinator you will be contributing to the organisation of the public judging day and exhibition and presentation day. You will also take a leading role administering and managing the events on the day.
Communication skills – written and verbal
Writing reports, debating issues at meetings, practicing your public speaking and maintaining resource book instructions and handbook section guidelines are all part of your possible roles.
Actively contribute to your profession and your professional association
Through your contribution to the STS committee and the STS competition you will be making a valuable contribution to science education and to your professional association – the Science Teachers’ Association of Victoria.
Reports published in professional journals
You will have opportunities to write articles for publication in STAV’s professional journals, with support and contributions from your fellow committee members.
Develop deeper knowledge and understanding of student-centred pedagogy
Science Talent Search provides an ideal model for implementing student-centred pedagogy.
Peer review and professional support for colleagues
Much of the work you do can be informally reviewed by your peers and constructive suggestions and feedback provided. This is an important element of skill development.
Once you have gained experience on the STS committee you can apply to join the small team on the STS Management Group. The management group takes on additional leadership, organisational, financial and decision-making responsibilities.
Your understanding of the Science Talent Search competition will also increase substantially and you will be able to confidently introduce the competition to your school if they don’t already participate, or more effectively implement it and guide students if they do participate.
This is an ideal opportunity to become involved with a dynamic group of committed professionals, develop your professional skills and participate in professional learning that will assist you to meet many VIT standards of professional practice.
Certificates of acknowledgement.
All active committee members are presented with certificates acknowledging their professional contribution at the end of each year. You are required to participate in committee activities for a minimum of one year to receive documented evidence of participation.
Relevant Australian Professional Standards for Teachers – for STS committee members
Contributing to STS committee, depending on the nature of what you choose to do, will enable you to reference some or all of the following APST – specifically standards 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
1. Teachers know how students learn and how to teach them effectively
Update knowledge of contemporary research into teaching and learning to support the development of effective practice for others in the profession.
Draw on knowledge of teaching practices to assist others in the profession to engage students in effective learning.
Update knowledge of how classroom and program design, use of resources and the structure of activities impact on learning.
2. Teachers know the content they teach
Support others within the profession to update and deepen understanding of the content they teach.
Broaden awareness of methodologies, technologies and resources which support content taught and support others in the profession to do so.
4. Teachers plan and assess for effective learning
Develop knowledge of students, content and pedagogy to establish clear and achievable learning goals for students and work with others in the profession to build effective learning programs.
Plan for and support the use of a range of activities to provide meaningful learning opportunities for all students
Update knowledge of assessment strategies to evaluate student learning, to provide feedback to students and their parents and to inform further planning for teaching and learning.
5. Teachers create and maintain safe and challenging learning environments
Use understanding about effective teaching and learning to develop, and assist others to develop, a positive learning environment
Develop capacity and support others to build learning environments that engage and challenge students and encourage them to take responsibility for their own learning.
Support others in the profession to develop the range of strategies they use to establish and maintain clear and consistent expectations for students as learners.
6. Teachers use a range of teaching practices and resources to engage students in effective learning
Develop communication with…members of the profession to make learning programs explicit, to support the learning of…teachers, and to build effective relationships
Develop understanding of/or promote a range of teaching practices that result in effective teacher learning.
Broaden understanding of teaching and learning practices and resources used to support the effective practice of others in the profession.
Support others in the profession to use a range of strategies for providing meaningful feedback to students and their parents/carers about their developing knowledge and skills.
7. Teachers reflect on, evaluate and improve their professional knowledge and practice
Work collaboratively with other members of the profession and engage in discussion of contemporary issues and research to improve professional practice.
Develop leadership, organisational and administrative skills to manage a range of non-teaching duties including curriculum and administrative leadership.
8. Teachers are active members of their profession
Work effectively with other professionals and members of the community to provide effective learning for students.
Promote learning, the value of education and the profession of teaching in the wider community.