STAO Safety Workshops/Services


The safety of students is obviously important. The Ontario Ministry of Labour serves as the enforcement agency in charge of health and safety in workplaces. In curriculum documents, it is the Ministry of Education that makes reference to safety in the classroom. As a result, the Ontario College of Teachers has asked that educators know what an unsafe learning environment entails and ensure that teachers know the actions to take when an unsafe learning
situation is encountered.

With the emphasis of STEM learning and hands-on approaches, questions of safety become relevant in science classrooms across the province. Safety in classrooms include technological labs and science labs. Student safety and well-being is essential. That is where educator foresight, knowledge and professional judgment is vital.

Today, more than ever, recognizing student vulnerability and understanding the potential for harm means proactive actions to mitigate potential dangers. This is your responsibility as a teacher.

The objective of STAO is to help all educators to remain current in their knowledge and skills when it comes to health and safety in STEM disciplines. Vigilance applies to all Ontario Certified Teachers, consultants, vice-principles, health and safety officers, supervisory officers, directors of education, and those in non-school-board positions, including those in private schools. All share the responsibility for student safety.

STAO provides custom tailored workshops for school boards across Ontario, intended to address the specific staff and facility needs to meet the Ontario Science Curriculum.Please consult your science staff to determine the type of support you need so that we can work together to meet your requirements.


Our services are categorized into 5 Session Categories:

1. Custom tailored demonstrations linked to the curriculum which assess safety from design to disposal for the teacher. (1 hour)
STAO will present a dozen student activities and teacher demonstrations.These will be used to show engaging activities that adhere to the safety commitment to using small quantities of chemicals in low concentrations and substituting where possible dangerous to less dangerous chemicals. The session will be geared to both junior and senior science courses. Prior to the workshop, STAO will work with the participants to determine the types of demonstrations which provide valuable links and teacher engagement.The school will provide the equipment and chemicals. STAO will facilitate the step-by-step safety discussions of the demonstrations or other hands-on activities. This session is generally geared to teachers in Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 curriculum.

2. New-to-Science (Safety 101) interactive session to assess safety checks in every day classroom settings. (1 hour)
The session will contain classroom scenarios, demonstrations and practical examples to focus on handling of equipment and chemicals in the classroom and chemical storage areas. This session is geared to new hires or science as a second subject in the Grade 9/10 curriculum. However, it can also be a refresher for more experienced teachers.

3. Safety Tour of Science Department classrooms and storage areas. (1 hour)
The tour is based on STAO Science Facility Safety document. The presenter will conduct a “deep dive” throughout the school science department to outline focus areas for potential hazards. A Report will be prepared that will describe good lab practices that were observed, and suggest areas that need improvement. The intended audience is Curriculum Leaders and JH&SC members of the schools.

4. Curriculum needs and support – (length tailored to needs)
Determine the needs of your curriculum and we facilitate the discussion.
Example but not limited to:
In 2023 the new De-streamed Grade 9 curriculum has brought challenges for many teachers. STAO will facilitate an interactive workshop in group settings for teachers to share ideas and best practices incorporating a safety culture for the school.

5. How can STAO help teachers and school boards? – (length tailored to needs) Examples of questions STAO could address:
• What are the issues that teachers and boards face in providing quality experiences for students?
• What can STAO do to help address the issues?
• What do you wish to see at our conferences and other communications, including social media?
• What road blocks prevent your participation at learning conferences?

Workshop Fees: Sessions are based on half-days but may vary based on your needs and the session(s) desired. What sets STAO Safety Assessments apart from for-profit consultations is that STAO is an independent non-profit science education association. As such, our programs, workshops and consultations do not promote or endorse any specific product nor is intended to sell any products or supplies.

Contact for a quote.