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A dynamic, hands-on scientific spectacle has taken centre stage in Wandoan today during a popular STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) learning experience delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
Thanks to support from Senex Energy, about 40 students in Years seven, eight and nine embarked on an exciting path of discovery into the lifecycle of gas projects and gave the next generation from the Western Downs region the opportunity to unlock a world of rewarding STEM careers.
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said students from Wandoan and Taroom state schools worked under the guidance of representatives from Senex Energy as they completed a series of engaging activities linked to gas exploration and extraction, and process engineering.
“During the first activity, students unearthed the fundamentals of gas exploration during a core drilling exercise where they gained an insight into how analysis of geological data can map underground gas reserves,” Ms Jones said.
“They then used grip strength and Vernier Gas sensors to investigate the science behind pressurisation, and in the process discovered how Boyle’s Law is applied in the resources and energy sector to extract natural gas.”
Senex Energy’s Community Relations Manager, Mr Trevor Roberston said the workshop was a great example of how STEM is applied in the real-world professions.
“We’re proud to partner with the QMEA to deliver enriching educational programs to students from local communities in which we operate,” Mr Robertson said.
“We hope today’s workshop has inspired Wandoan’s budding STEM enthusiasts to pursue a STEM related career, including in the broader gas industry.”
Wandoan State School Principal, Mr Gavin Symonds said students put their process engineering and critical thinking skills to the test during the final activity of the day when they were tasked with creating the perfect drink of water.
“Students harnessed their problem-solving skills to design a method that consistently produced a glass of water that met temperature, volumetric, and time constraints,” Mr Symonds said.
“This challenge not only showcased the importance of scientific concepts but also honed professional skills like trial and error, following instructions, and meeting project scope on time.”
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.