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The world of technology, automation and artificial intelligence came to life in Brisbane when almost 60 female students take part in the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA)’s ‘Beakers.Bots.Build’ workshop today..

The QMEA, the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), is on a mission to showcase the hands-on and technical aspects of the many opportunities available in vocational education and training (VET) and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)-related careers, particularly for female and Indigenous students.

“Supported by the generosity of QRC members, the ‘Beakers.Bots.Build’ challenge  involves a chemical processing task, programming Lego robots to haul mineral resources and designing the most accurate coin launching device,” said QRC’s Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Katrina-Lee Jones.

Principal of San Sisto College, Shelley Hamilton said this was the first of three QMEA workshops San Sisto College would be hosting over the next five weeks.

“The QMEA goes out of its way to guide and advise students about the realities of the sector and the best way to use their talents for a fulfilling career.  All the challenges and hands-on activities bring the real-world into their studies,” she said

Meanwhile, across town at The Gap State High School, a group of year 7 students is investigating how simple machines, like pulleys, make work easier in a ‘Pulleys for Productivity’ workshop.

Students will investigate how using pulleys can move or lift objects using less effort. In the resources sector, simple machines can be spotted everywhere, from mine design to heavy machinery.

The QMEA is Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and skills training initiative and seeks to broaden student and teacher knowledge of VET and STEM career opportunities in the resources sector.

The academy is largely funded by QRC members and sponsors, and currently delivers hands-on workshops and programs to 80 Queensland schools. The QMEA has a focus on increasing female and Indigenous participation and is part of the Gateway to Industry Schools Program which is supported and funded by the Queensland Government.

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