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About 200 students from Anglican Church Grammar School went on the hunt last Friday (5 August) for clues linking elements in the Periodic Table to everyday products at a Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) Mining Matters workshop.
Thanks to support from South32 and Glencore Coal, the entire Grade 8 cohort competed in a treasure hunt the QMEA hopes has ignited a passion for geology, science, and technology.
QMEA Director, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said the workshop was all about helping the students make personal connections with mineral resources by learning that if something isn’t grown, it’s mined.
“Our Mining Matters workshop gives students the joy of discovering what goes into making common items they use every day,” Ms Jones said.
“It’s important to recognise that the individual components in their phones, personal hygiene products, the solar panels on their roof at home – were all mined and processed in the resources industry.”
South32 Cannington Vice President Operations Joe Russell said as a global diversified miner, the commodities South32 produce play a significant role in creating everyday products as well as providing critical minerals for a sustainable future.
“At South32, we produce base metals that have a very wide range of applications and will be increasingly needed as the world moves into a low carbon future,” Mr Russell said.
“For example, the lead and silver we produce at Cannington is used in the production of batteries for energy storage, solar panels, and water purification technology.”
Human Resources Manager at Glencore Coal, Anthony Exelby said the workshop plays an important role in raising students’ awareness of the resources industry’s contribution to modern life and innovative technology.
“Our coal mines in Queensland and New South Wales produce the raw materials for both energy supply and steelmaking,” Mr Exelby said.
“It was great to see students enthusiastically connect the dots to understand that the products they rely on every day are made possible by resources that are mined.”
Anglican Church Grammar School Principal, Dr Alan Campbell said it was fantastic to see some “Churchie Old Boys” return to campus to guide the students through today’s activities.
“Students really appreciate hearing from alumni about how they came to their specific roles and getting personal advice on how they can grow their own professional skills,” Dr Campbell said.
“The QMEA centred the workshop around applications related to safety, renewables and technology which are crucial topics for students looking to pursue an education or training pathway to a career in resources.”
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 industry and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.