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It was raining smiles and excitement yesterday (17 May) at the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy’s (QMEA) Water 4 All workshop at Taroom State High School, thanks to support from Senex Energy.
Around 16 Grade 7 students from Taroom and Wandoan State Schools were on hand to absorb new water management knowledge through a resources industry lens.
Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Katrina-Lee Jones with the QMEA, which is the education arm of the QRC, said students were able to deepen their understanding of the important role the resources industry plays in treating and conserving precious water supplies.
“Today’s workshop included hands-on activities that complemented classroom learning about water reuse and sustainability, tying in technical elements like filtration and purification to make it safe for the environment and community,” Ms Jones said.
“Resources companies often play a significant role in ensuring reliable and safe public access to water for regional and remote towns, and this workshop gave students first-hand experience in the resources industry’s best-practice water treatment methods.”
Senex Energy Community Relations Manager, Trevor Robertson said water was a by-product of natural gas production and the company employs skilled people like hydrogeologists and data and analytics managers to understand the water quality and quantity needs.
“We hope that through learning about Senex’s practices, Taroom students will be inspired to study STEM subjects, potentially leading them into a well-paid career in their local area.”
Taroom State School Principal, Mrs Angela Heslin said students enjoyed the hands-on activities and in particular, competing as teams in the water treatment design challenge.
“QMEA and Senex Energy representatives guided the students through different water treatment methods like filtration and flocculation, which includes adding a chemical compound to promote the clumping of unwanted particles in the water,” Ms Heslin said.
“From there, the students put their communication, collaboration, and design thinking to the test by devising their own water treatment process.
“This encouraged them to utilise learnings from the workshop and their classroom curriculum to solve a real-world challenge”.
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.