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About 30 Biloela high school students will learn how their science technology engineering and maths (STEM) studies relate to the real world of work this week when they attend a workshop run by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA).

The STEM Unearthed activities focus on extracting and processing materials, much as would occur on a mine site.

They’ll be mentored by professionals from Batchfire and hear first-hand about the wide variety of careers in the resources sector and how STEM can help them onto those pathways.

“The event is designed to highlight to Biloela students the importance of STEM within the resources sector as well as the wide variety of pathways that the resources sector can provide,” said Chris Coombs, Head of Business from Batchfire.

“Our company is very much focused on the talent pipeline coming into our business and these experiences help to shore up our future workforce.”

Students will take part in three hands-on activities that have been designed to simulate different aspects of the lifecycle of a mine.

They will be given their own mini ‘mines’ which they will need to mine for coal before rehabilitating the ‘mine’ and returning it to its original state.

They will then delve deeper into the processing of copper by comparing two methods of copper extraction before finally putting their process engineering hats on to develop a process to create the ‘perfect drink’.

“These workshops are invaluable for our students as they take in the school curriculum and provide hands-on links between schoolwork and its practical application,” said Linda Holman Deputy Principal Biloela SHS.

The QMEA engages with 80 schools throughout Queensland and is a partnership between the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and the State Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

The QRC is Queensland’s peak representative body for coal, metal and gas explorers, producers and suppliers across the resources sector. It contributes one in every five dollars to the Queensland economy, sustains one in six Queensland jobs and supports more than 14,400 businesses and 1400 community organisations across the state – all from 0.1 percent of Queensland’s land mass.

Media contact: Katrina Jones 0421 922 446 or katrinalj@qrc.org.au

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