STEM Unearthed

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The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) is kicking off school engagements for Semester 2 in the Cloncurry region, thanks to support from South32.

About 30 students from St Joseph’s Catholic School P-9 and Cloncurry State School P-12 are embarking on a learning adventure today (19 July) to strengthen their science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and coding skills at the QMEA’s STEM Unearthed workshop.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said industry representatives will guide students as they complete a series of engaging STEM-related and programming tasks with real-world applications in the resources sector.

“We’re running this workshop to show Year 9 and 10 students that pursuing further studies in STEM and digital-related subjects can lead to an exciting career in the resources sector,” Ms Jones said.

“Students will work in teams to run their very own ‘mini mines’, giving them realistic challenges to solve like planning, controlling finances, and operating within designated environmental and market conditions.

“This allows them to connect their classroom learning to a commercial scenario whilst also helping them further develop life skills like communication, critical thinking, and problem solving,” Ms Jones said.

South32 Cannington Vice President Operations Joe Russell said students will also learn how advanced technologies and innovation are helping to further enhance safety within the resources and energy sector.

“With the industry’s uptake of digital technologies, there are many rewarding opportunities across all aspects of the resources value chain for talented young men and women,” Mr Russell said.

“We hope the work we’re doing with the QMEA will inspire these students to consider a career at South32, or the broader resources sector.”

St Joseph’s Catholic School P-9 Principal, Ms Samantha Kelley said the school is proud to host QMEA programs, which play a critical role in demonstrating the importance of classroom learning to students’ educational and professional development.

“As educators, it’s important we prepare our students for life after school, and one the core objectives of our school is to acknowledge the needs and interests of our students,” Ms Kelley said.

“This workshop provides a fun and engaging STEM learning experience with an additional focus on digital technologies, and we hope it will encourage them to continue pursuing excellence in these studies as they complete their final senior school years.”

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 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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