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Click here for Day 1 photos – ‘Energy: The Inside Story’.

Click here for Day 2 photos – ‘Energy Transformation’

 

The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) is powering up the potential for Central Queensland students to pursue rewarding science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers at a future-focussed workshop delivered by the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

For the first time, thanks to support from one of the QMEA’s newest partner companies Ark Energy, about 60 year seven and eight students from Collinsville State High School are participating in an unparalleled education experience that explores the fundamentals of renewable energy and is linked with the National Science Curriculum.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said two workshops delivered over two days will enlighten young minds about the tech-driven world of clean energy and exciting STEM careers associated with a net zero economy.

“Yesterday, Year 7 students participated in ‘Energy: The Inside Story’, where they explored how solar energy is used to power hydrogen cars, including how positioning solar panels at different angles can affect their energy efficiency,” Ms Jones said.

“Students discovered the fundamentals of using solar energy to power a reversible fuel cell, which is a type of battery technology and allows water to split into hydrogen and oxygen and can fuel a model scale car.”

Senior Development Manager and project lead for Ark Energy’s Collinsville Green Energy Hub, Ms Trina Jensen said after investigating the power of solar energy and hydrogen, students will move onto an interactive activity that delves into the principles of the National Energy Market (NEM).

“Working collaboratively, students will look at energy generation, distribution and planning as they use dice and problem-solving to create their own unique Energy Plan for 2050, based on real-world challenges and opportunities,” Ms Jensen said.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for students to use exciting game theory to gain a comprehensive understanding of Queensland and Australia’s energy market, analysing dynamic aspects such renewable energy targets, peak demand forecasts and energy contracts.

“As Ark Energy works towards growing Australia’s renewable energy capacity and decarbonising, we want to inspire the next generation to consider STEM pathways and rewarding career opportunities in the variety of engineering disciplines, as well as project management, planning and procurement.”

Collinsville State High School Principal, Mrs Anna Reeves said Year 8 students will be tasked with identifying the optimal configuration of wind turbines for different wind conditions.

“In teams, students will be given model-scale wind turbines to construct themselves. There will be three different fan blade options to consider so they’ll need to apply critical thinking and trial and error to determine how surface area and angle affects the efficiency of wind turbines,” Mrs Reeves said.

“This will help them make insightful connections between their science curriculum and real-world applications and introduces them to the critical role renewable energy will play in a sustainable future, and how individuals can shape tangible outcomes.”

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 97 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

The QRC is Queensland’s peak representative body for coal, metal and gas explorers, producers and suppliers across the resources sector. It contributes one in every five dollars to the Queensland economy, sustains one in six Queensland jobs, supports more than 15,000 businesses and contributes to more than 1,400 community organisations across the state – all from 0.1 percent of Queensland’s land mass.

About Ark Energy Ark Energy is a leading Australian renewable energy company specialising in large-scale wind and solar energy generation, energy storage and green hydrogen. It is a subsidiary of Korea Zinc, the world’s largest zinc producer with a proud 25-year history in Queensland through its Sun Metals zinc refinery and co-located solar farm in Townsville. Ark Energy’s mandate is to decarbonise the energy supply of the Korea Zinc group starting with Sun Metals, and it is at the forefront of development of Australia’s green hydrogen industry. More information: arkenergy.com.au

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