Pulleys for Productivity

Click here for photos of Pulleys for Productivity at Wavell State High School.
Click here for photos of Heavy Hydraulics at Bundamba State Secondary College.


Students from Wavell State High School and Bundamba State Secondary College have equipped themselves with handy new physics skills at a series of workshops delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA).

About 100 students completed exciting, hands-on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) activities across three days, thanks to support from Queensland Resources Council (QRC) member companies.

QRC Director of Skills, Diversity and Education, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said students really enjoyed putting their engineering skills to the test as they bolstered their professional skills like teamwork, problem-solving, and creative thinking.

“During the two ‘Pulleys for Productivity’ workshops, students had the opportunity to investigate how a series of pulleys can make lifting heavy objects easier, safer, and more efficient,” Ms Jones said.

“In the resources and energy sector, large volumes of heavy material like overburden, construction material, or even tyres as tall as buses need to be moved on a regular basis.

“These workshops were all about demonstrating the power of fundamental physics by having the students design and construct their own system of pulleys to lift heavy objects without manually handling them.”

Bundamba State Secondary College Principal, Ms Sandra Quinn said at the ‘Heavy Hydraulics’ workshop today, students got a helping hand from industry representatives as they created and built their own model-scale hydraulic arm.

“It was fantastic to have BHP Project Manager, Ms Kate Nethercott and Senior Mechanical Engineer, Ms Julia Brown in the classroom today to guide students through workshop activities and talk about their rewarding career pathway in the resources industry,” Ms Quinn said.

“Students are fascinated to learn how their school curriculum can be applied in real-world situations, and Kate and Julia’s experience in the resources sector meant they had a lot of valuable advice to give in managing dynamic challenges and working as a team.”

As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools training 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 90 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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