STEM Unearthed_SEQ 1

Click here for photos of ‘STEM Unearthed’.

Click here for photos of ‘Tradies for a Day’.

Click here for photos of ‘Pulleys for Productivity’.


Brisbane students have discovered what it takes to be the resources and energy sector’s next generation of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) professionals and apprentices at a series of hands-on workshops delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA).

Thanks to support from Queensland Resources Council (QRC) members, about 220 Year 8 and 10 students from Bundamba State Secondary College unearthed the myriad of exciting career opportunities by forging pathways toward STEM and trades excellence.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said on Monday, Year 10 students became modern-day explorers, venturing into the worlds of mine operators, metallurgists, and process engineers.

“Students got the rare and valuable opportunity to work under the guidance of a senior metallurgist from Glencore Technology as they extracted copper from copper carbonate and learnt methods similar to what industry experts use,” Ms Jones said.

“The next activity saw students run their own mini mines, which is a clever way for them to investigate the lifecycle of a mining project, from construction to rehabilitation and closure, whilst also bolstering valuable skills like collaboration, problem-solving, and financial planning.”

Year 8 students also unleashed the power of mechanics thanks to the QMEA’s ‘Pulleys for Productivity’ workshop which was delivered to about 175 students across two days of action-packed fun.

“Students witnessed how fundamental physics can transform difficult challenges into feats of efficiency and safety by constructing their own series of pulleys to achieve optimum force multiplication,” Ms Jones said.

Bundamba State Secondary College Principal, Ms Carmen Anderson said QMEA workshops are not mere educational events; they are catalysts for sparking curiosity and passion for careers in the resources and energy sector.

“Experiencing the dual benefit of STEM and vocational pathway options, yesterday, our Year 10 students rolled up their sleeves and dove headfirst into a medley of exciting trade-based activities,” Ms Anderson said.

“From conquering the intricacies of electrical circuit boards to navigating the inner workings of mechanics, they got a taste for what life is like as a trade professional as they rotated through activities like pneumatics, auto electrical, and even virtual welding.”

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.

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