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Students at Oakey State High School were excited by maths yesterday and learnt skills that contributed to the rehabilitation of mine sites.

Mentoring them in the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) activity were experts in the field from New Hope’s New Acland open-cut coal mine.

“We have an award-winning rehabilitation program that continually returns mined areas to agricultural and conservation uses,” said New Hope’s Dave O’Dwyer, General Manager New Acland Coal.

“It’s great that students can see just how much maths and science goes into this work, and by talking to our people, understand the many careers available for them here locally,” he said.

Principal of Oakey SHS Danny Keenan said it helped students’ understanding of topics when they could see how classroom work translated to the real world.

“These workshops place the students’ classroom learning in science technology engineering and maths (STEM) into a real-world context, helping them join the dots between the theory and practice,” he said.

“Having the industry professionals there also helps them to see first-hand the possibilities from studying STEM subjects.”

Students used ‘magic sand’ to represent overburden and topsoil and calculated volumes needed to re-contour and rehabilitate the mined area.

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