STEM Stepping

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Students’ aspirations to pursue a rewarding career in the resources and energy sector is expected to stem from the personal insights of industry representatives at a Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) workshop today (2 June).

The QMEA, which is the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) is in Gladstone today hosting a STEM Stepping workshop joined by students from Tannum Sands, Gladstone, Toolooa, and Calliope State High Schools, and Chanel College, thanks to support from ConocoPhillips Australia, as downstream operator of Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG).

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said around 100 Grade 10 students gathered at Central Queensland University’s Marina Campus to hear from more than 20 industry representatives from APNLG’s operations, Gladstone Regional Council, and Gladstone Engineering Alliance member companies.

“Today’s workshop introduced students to the resources industry’s exciting career opportunities through the individual experiences of experts from a variety of professional backgrounds, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM),” Ms Jones said.

“Providing a forum for students to interact with industry representatives raises their awareness of the local education and vocational pathways open to them within the sector.

“It also connects them with the established talent pipeline, which helps them develop other essential professional skills like networking and communication”.

ConocoPhillips Australia’s Manager Communities and Sustainable Development, Mr Robert Gibb said students also benefited from hands-on STEM activities that will help prepare them for real-world situations as young professionals.

“After the students heard about the study and training pathways available to them, they then moved onto an activity lead by APLNG’s Engineering Leadership team, focusing on collaboration, planning, continuous improvement, and problem solving,” Mr Gibb said.

“This is something that young people would not typically get to experience until the latter part of a recruitment phase with a potential employer, and this is an invaluable opportunity for them to be mentored through an aptitude process guided by an industry expert”.

Tannum Sands State High School Principal, Mrs Heather Blessington said students enjoyed getting a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the day-to-day operations of Gladstone’s resources and energy sector at the Gladstone Engineering Centre at CQUniversity.

“We want students to see how their classroom learning is applied in the real world, and this workshop allowed them to connect the school’s STEM curriculum to local jobs in a local industry that’s been part of Gladstone’s community for more than 150 years,” Mrs Blessington said.

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.

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