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The atmosphere in the classroom was electric today as 30 Year 9 students from Dalby State High School marvelled at beakers, Bunsen Burners, and bubbling solutions during the inaugural ‘Thinking Scientifically’ workshop, delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA).
In partnership with Arrow Energy, for the first time the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) gave students the remarkable opportunity to explore the inspiring frontiers of scientific thought, as they completed a series of activities carefully curated to provide an authentic insight into the complexities of the gas industry.
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) professionals remaining in enduring demand in the gas and energy sector, this educational experience aimed to ignite a passion among the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators.
“The real magic here is that STEM is not just about equations and theories; it’s about helping Gen-Z make personal connections with rewarding, real-world careers in an exciting industry operating in their hometown,” Ms Jones said.
“The day kickstarted with an enthralling chemistry experiment that saw students separate a mixture of sand, salt, gravel, and iron fillings – a clever replication of process engineering that challenged the students to employ their critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.”
Students also put their process engineering skills to the test when they were tasked with designing a method to create the perfect drink of water that met temperature and volumetric requirements.
“This activity was a great way for students to see firsthand the importance of concepts like trial and error, collaboration, and following instructions,” Ms Jones said.
“The excitement in the room rose when students compared the efficiency of different fuels by measuring combustion time and temperature, giving them a deeper understanding of high-quality energy sources and the importance of Queensland’s gas industry.”
Arrow Energy’s Dalby based Senior Operations Engineer, Mr William Baker, said by immersing themselves in real-world science professions, these students have taken their first steps towards a future filled with promising career pathways and valuable STEM skills.
“Seeing these students dive into real-world science today is a great start for them towards promising careers and gaining important STEM skills,” Mr Baker said.
“With most of our operations here in the Surat Basin surrounding Dalby, it’s fantastic for local students to see how their classroom learning connects to real-world challenges in our dynamic and growing industry.
“Arrow Energy is proud to partner with the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy to give students this unique chance to explore the exciting world of science!”
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 99 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.