STEM Stepping_Gladstone_APLNG

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A wave of inspiration swept through Gladstone today as a group of 80 ambitious Year 10 students from local high schools participated in an eye-opening resources and energy sector careers talk delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC). 

Thanks to generous support from ConocoPhillips Australia, the downstream operator of Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG), today’s event gave students from Toolooa, Gladstone, Tannum Sands, and Calliope state high schools, and Chanel College the opportunity to hear first-hand from industry representatives from diverse technical backgrounds. 

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said this session aims to provide invaluable insights from experienced resources sector professionals to guide students in their potential career paths while showcasing the many exciting jobs for science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM), and trade enthusiasts. 

“These students are at an important stage of their educational journey and will soon be choosing subjects for their final years of senior school,” Ms Jones said. 

“Today’s session cleverly integrates the valuable insights of a careers talk with hands-on activities that introduce students to the cutting-edge technology used everyday in the resources and energy sector.  

“Delivering an engaging educational experience like this plays a critical role in helping students make informed decisions about their tertiary pathways and life after school.” 

Manager of Communities and Sustainable Development at ConocoPhillips Australia, Mr Robert Gibb said interacting with industry experts allows students to not only enhance their awareness of a local sector, but also forge connections within the talent pipeline, fostering essential skills such as networking and communication. 

“This morning, the cohort listened to career talks by accomplished professionals from APLNG and Gladstone Regional Council as they rotated in groups between Gladstone Engineering Alliance’s headquarters and Gladstone Regional Council’s building,” Mr Gibb said. 

“They then headed over to the Central Queensland University campus where they rotated through four exciting activities at the STEM Hub before wrapping up the day with some professional development and team building tasks. 

“The benefits of this career-oriented event today extend beyond traditional knowledge sharing, encompassing valuable practical STEM activities that mirror real-world situations.” 

Gladstone State High School Principal, Mr Garry Goltz said in addition to bolstering their tangible STEM skills, today’s experience also allowed students to further develop their professional capabilities like collaboration, planning, continuous improvement, and problem-solving. 

“As educators, our role is to bridge the gap between classroom learning and practical application, and this session connected the STEM curriculum with local job opportunities in an industry that plays an integral part of Gladstone’s community,” Mr Goltz said. 

“These enterprising young minds were astounded by the multitude of rewarding career possibilities in their hometown, and the fascinating technology that makes these roles so exciting like the virtual reality goggles that allowed them to see APLNG’s operational site from the safety of their classroom, or the Lego EV3 robots that simulate autonomous vehicles used to remotely inspect pipelines.” 

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 over 90 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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