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Year 8 students from Blackwater State High School embarked on a captivating journey of exploration and scavenger hunting in their own classrooms today during an unforgettable workshop delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

About 90 students delved into the evolving realm of critical minerals, unearthing the invaluable resources that power modern technological advancements and everyday life, thanks to support from Coronado Global Resources.

QRC Director of Skills, Education, and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said this unique education experience allowed students to connect the dots between the elements in the Periodic Table and the everyday products that rely on their existence.

“Inspired by the Minerals Council of Australia’s ’30 Things’ publication, students went on a treasure hunt around their classroom to track down clues that revealed how critical commodities produced by Queensland’s resources and energy sector go into things like smartphones, medicine, and even cosmetic products,” Ms Jones said.

“These students were eagerly challenged to employ their powers of exploration, investigation, and problem-solving to uncover the importance of an industry imbedded in the foundation of their own community.”

Coronado Global Resources Chief People and Sustainability Officer, Ms Emma Pollard said this workshop was an innovative and engaging way to illustrate the vital role the resources industry plays in providing critical minerals for a sustainable future.

“We know these bright young men and women are passionate about learning how the world is transitioning to net zero, and today’s ‘Treasures of the Earth’ cleverly demonstrated how Queensland’s resources industry will help the world decarbonise,” Ms Pollard said.

“We’re extremely proud of our partnership with the QMEA, and we hope today’s session has helped foster enthusiasm among the students for a rewarding career in this sector.”

Blackwater State High School Principal, Ms Rebecca Vitale praised the workshop as a harmonious complement to the school’s chemistry curriculum, enabling students to establish personal connections with the resources industry.

“The students were surprised to discover that the minerals extracted from their very own backyard find their way into the technology they carry in their pockets or the devices they enjoy at home, such as laptops and televisions,” Ms Vitale said.

“As the workshop concluded today, the students departed with newfound knowledge and a renewed appreciation for the treasures hidden within the earth that surrounds them here in Blackwater.”

As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools initiative, the QMEA seeks to broaden student and teacher knowledge of career opportunities in resources.

The academy encourages a talent pipeline of employees into vocational and professional careers, with a focus on female and Indigenous participation. The QMEA currently engages with 91 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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