Click here for photos.
Robotics, coding, and a scavenger hunt are among the exciting, hands-on activities for St Hilda’s School students at a Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) workshop today.
About 225 Grade 7 and 8 students are working in teams under the guidance of industry representatives, to complete science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) tasks with real-world resources sector applications.
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said this interactive educational experience seeks to encourage more young women to pursue a rewarding career in the resources and energy sector, particularly in STEM roles.
“Throughout the day, students will participate in one of three unique activities from QMEA’s flagship programs, including Resourceful Robots, Mining for Code, and Hunting Minerals, Metals and More,” Ms Jones said.
“These activities cleverly integrate realistic challenges and opportunities in the resources and energy sector with learning outcomes from the National Science Curriculum.”
During Resourceful Robots, students will program Lego EV3 robots to move autonomously around a simulated mine site, demonstrating the functionality of automated vehicles.
Mining for Code sees students program a small computer called Arduinos using the coding language ‘C’, where they will produce a series of flashing lights that mimic a safety feature found in the helmets of today’s resources industry workforce.
Hunting Minerals, Metals and More sees students embark on a treasure hunt to investigate links between elements in the Periodic Table and the everyday products they’re used in, like solar panels, smart phones, and even the Metaverse.
St Hilda’s School Principal, Ms Wendy Lauman said the students were particularly excited to have industry representatives at today’s workshop, mentoring them through the different activities. This includes QEM’s Director of Communications, Jo Bergamin, who is a former St Hilda’s School student, and Mehmet Doktan and Michelle Jones from Thiess.
“Our students are always eager to learn how their classroom learning can be applied in the real world, and this workshop is a fantastic opportunity for them to discover some career pathway opportunities available to them,” Ms Lauman said.
“This is the second QMEA workshop our school has hosted this year since St Hilda’s School became the first QMEA-affiliated school in southeast Queensland, and we’re looking forward to offering more programs like this that complement the STEM curriculum.”
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 90 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.