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Roma students are gearing up for a day of hands-on science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) exploration in the resources and energy sector through a learning experience delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

The ‘Beakers.Bots.Build’ event will see 24 Year 9 students from Roma State College and St John’s Catholic School Roma engage in a series of stimulating activities, giving them a glimpse of the many rewarding careers on offer in the gas industry.

The workshop is supported by Origin Energy, Upstream Operator for Australia Pacific LNG, and has students spend the day with industry mentors, immersed in hands-on activities in robotics and programming, chemical processing, and engineering and design.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said the activities align with the practical applications in the resource and energy sector and promote a hands-on learning experience, integrating with the concepts taught in the Australian Curriculum.

“During the workshop, students will explore different hole patterns on tubes demonstrating how perforated well casings maximise fluid extraction in the gas industry,” Ms Jones said.

“They will then move into a high-tech challenge of programming Lego EV3 robots to replicate efficiency and optimisation in autonomous vehicle operations, such as remote inspections of gas pipelines.”

Origin’s General Manager Asset West, Ms Aleta Nicoll, said the workshop was a great opportunity to foster teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills among students.

“As the energy industry experiences an enduring demand for skilled STEM professionals, Origin is committed to equipping the next generation with the skills and knowledge needed to spearhead innovative solutions,” Ms Nicoll said.

“We’re proud of our partnership with the QMEA, which helps nurture, motivate and inspire young minds to follow a pathway into STEM fields.”

Roma State College Principal, Mr Regan Gant said the workshops bridge the gap between classroom teachings and real-world applications.

“The final activity of the day will see students design a mechanism to extract objects without human intervention, cleverly replicating concepts seen in handling and processing equipment in our sector,” Mr Gant said.

“The activities not only introduce students to the innovative technologies used in the natural gas industry, but it also aids them in honing their IT and analytical skills, preparing them for lucrative career paths in the sector.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to witness the relevance and application of their classroom studies in a local, booming sector.”

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 98 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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