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Click here for photos of ‘Lighting the Way’ at Corinda State High School.
Click here for photos of ‘Watch it Cool’ at Kawana Waters State College.
Click here for photos of ‘Pulleys for Productivity’ at Wavell State High School.

A series of STEM-tacular educational experiences delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) have unlocked south-east Queensland students’ potential in science, physics, and geology.

Thanks to workshops supported by Queensland Resources Council (QRC) member companies, about 150 students from the Brisbane and Sunshine Coast were left dazzled by the wonders of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) and eager to pursue exciting careers in the resources and energy sector.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said three unique programs comprising hands-on resources industry contextualised activities helped bridge the gap between theoretical learning and real-world applications.

“During ‘Lighting the Way’, the brilliance of about 60 Year 9 students from Corinda State High School shone bright as they took on the challenge of investigating principles of reflection and refraction,” Ms Jones said.

“Collaborating in teams, the young scientists skilfully positioned a series of mirrors to manoeuvre a laser beam around an obstacle, helping them discover a type of safety technology called retroreflectors.”

At the second workshop ‘Watch it Cool’, about 50 Year 8 students from Kawana Waters State College embarked on a thrilling geological journey, unravelling the mysteries of rock formation and gaining a deeper appreciation for the Earth’s processes.

Students used microscopes to analyse and compare the different shapes and sizes of crystals as they explored how different cooling rates impact the creation of igneous rocks.

“This was the first QMEA workshop delivered at Kawana Waters State College, and it was a fantastic opportunity to kindle student curiosity for a career in geology,” Ms Jones said.

Wavell State High School Executive Principal, Ms Elizabeth Foster said at the ‘Pulleys for Productivity’ workshop, about 50 Year 7 students witnessed the power of physics and how simple engineering principles can revolutionise real-world challenges.

“Constructing a pulley system, students worked in teams to discover how a bit of leverage and some creative mechanical design can make seemingly impossible tasks achievable,” Ms Foster said.

“In the same way mine sites harness cranes and machinery to move large equipment, these future engineers learnt how their classroom learning translates to everyday ingenuity.”

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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