Watch it Cool

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Around 75 Brisbane students were ‘rock stars’ in investigative geology activities at today’s Watch it Cool workshop at Marsden State High School.

Developed by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), the hands-on workshop featured experiments designed to help Year 8 students understand how geologists interpret the conditions under which rocks form.

Funded by QRC member companies through an education levy, the workshop allowed students to connect lessons from their classroom curriculum to real-world applications.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Katrina-Lee Jones said in addition to teamwork, time management, and tenacity, students got to put their inquisitive science brains to the test as they completed lab-based tasks.

“This workshop saw students gain an understanding of geological processes, by investigating how the rate of cooling affects igneous rock formation,” she said

“Guided by industry representative Tara Ryan, a metallurgist from Glencore Technology, students were asked to scrutinise the differences between crystal size and shape using a microscope and then sketch these different structures as part of their assessment.”

Marsden State High School Principal, Mr Andrew Peach said the school was delighted to host its first QMEA workshop since becoming a member last year.

“We are thrilled to be expanding our students’ perspectives on geological timescales and challenge their preconceptions about how science is conducted,” Mr Peach said.

As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools training initiative, the QMEA expands student and teacher knowledge of the diverse 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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