LAZSTA (Met South West Science Teachers Association)

LAZSTA Inc (The Metropolitan Science Teachers’ Association) is a professional association for science educators in the South West of Sydney.  Established in 1973, the Association brings together the expertise and intellectual resources of educators to provide quality professional development and support of science teachers.  Over the past twenty years the delivery of support and its member base has included schools in the greater Sydney Region. 

The name LAZSTA is derived from the time of conception when the NSW Department of Education was divided into zones.  The initial area was known as Liverpool Area, hence the name Liverpool Area Zone Science Teachers’ Association.

LAZSTA is run and led by volunteers from Government and Non-government schools. All volunteers are teachers, head teachers, members of school executive teams or non-school based science educators. The success of LAZSTA is in due to the support and hard-working efforts of the team on the executive and the support of schools.  

The LAZSTA framework facilitates the sharing of resources, ideas and expertise in our region. This includes:

·  providing science teachers with high quality professional development activities 

·  developing and distributing current information, ideas and methodologies that promote improved student learning

·  providing a professional and social network to enhance science and science education

·  promoting science and science education as a profession

·  representing the members as a professional body

LAZSTA is a New South Wales Education Standards Authority endorsed provider of professional development for the maintenance of accreditation at Proficient level. Most activities are registered professional development under the terms of the NESA Continuing Professional Development policy for teachers maintaining accreditation at Proficient level.

For the last ten years LAZSTA has also promoted STEM activities with the establishment of iSTEM (Invigorating Science Engineering and Mathematics) program.  This program further enhances science education in our region through the development of enrichment activities for high school science students.  These activities are normally organised on weekends and during school holidays and are open to all students and their families.  Participating organisations include NSW University, Western Sydney University, the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Ingham’s Medical Institute, Australian Museum and ANSTO. The success of this program was recognised by the Australian Institute of Physics for NSW Science Outreach award in 2014 and the NSW Daily Telegraph Community Awards:  People’s Choice Award. (2016). Activities include museum visits and workshops, visits to places of scientific interest, university lectures and outreach.  A highlight of the program includes the opportunity for students to participate in a cultural visit to Korea, the US and participation in the US Space Academy Program and the International Belt and Road Science Camp in China. 

The president, Dr Kenneth Silburn was the recipient the 2015 Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Secondary Science Teaching.