Drone challenge 1

Click here for Primary Day Drone Competition.

Click here for Secondary Day Drone Competition.

STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) enthusiasm is set to take flight this week among 220 Gladstone students participating in two drone competitions delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy’s (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

Thanks to support from ConocoPhillips Australia, the downstream operator of Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG), students as young as Year three will soar to success as their team vies for first place, flying their drones through an obstacle course in the fastest time.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said today, 120 students from Years three to six are putting their aerial prowess and ingenuity to the test as they eagerly discover how the resources and energy sector uses drone technology.

“From remotely inspecting gas pipelines to site-based sampling for environmental compliance, our resources industry uses drones and robotics to keep its workforce safe and make otherwise difficult tasks easy,” Ms Jones said.

“In a world where drones are revolutionising how we do things, it’s extremely valuable for students at a young age to connect their STEM curriculum with realistic applications.

“This experience showcases innovative technologies in a learning environment like this helps bridge the gap between the classroom and real-world careers within their grasp.”

Stakeholder Relations Manager at ConocoPhillips Australia, Ms Chantale Lane said on Friday, about 100 students from Years seven to 10 will compete in a secondary school drone competition.

“We’re thrilled to have experienced representatives from the Australia Pacific LNG facility attend both competitions this week, guiding students through activities that replicate supply and logistics, and infrastructure inspections,” Ms Lane said.

“With the resources sector’s enduring demand for skilled STEM professionals like drone pilots, these competitions are a great opportunity for students to explore rewarding career prospects that encompass cutting-edge technology and hands-on problem solving.”

Toolooa State High School Principal, Mr Justin Harrison said the school was proud to be hosting the competitions again this year, helping students build modern-day capabilities like programming, planning and piloting.

“We’re excited to have 30 teams of students from 12 schools across the Gladstone region participating in the workshops this week, helping them bolster skills that translate directly into the industries of tomorrow,” Mr Harrison said.

“Students will go beyond simply flying and will need to use their imagination and creative thinking to design a 3D payload prototype that can be picked up by a drone from a ‘warehouse’ and transported to a second supply chain location.”

Thank you to all Gladstone schools participating in this year’s drone competition including Toolooa State High School, West State School, Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School, Central State School, Kin Kora State School, Redeemer Lutheran College, Saint John Catholic Primary School, Gladstone State High School, Chanel College, and Calliope State High School.

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.

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