Santos site tour 1

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From pixels to pipelines, 28 students from four Gladstone Region schools yesterday discovered whether their digital models of the Santos GLNG’s Curtis Island operations were up to scratch at a program, developed and facilitated by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

Thanks to support from Santos GLNG, students from Tannum Sands, Gladstone, and Calliope state high schools, and Chanel College spent the last eight weeks developing a digital rendition of the Santos GLNG’s Curtis Island LNG Facility in computer programs such as Minecraft and MIT’s Scratch.

Yesterday, this program culminated in the students from Years 7 to 9 investigating the plant in person, to assess the realism and functionality of their simulation models. These models aimed to replicate the processes of the plant, or the roles and responsibilities of key plant employees.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said the initiative gave students a unique opportunity to foster a passion for applying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) principles to real world industrial scenarios.

“Giving students a chance to devise and construct their own digital representations of such a complex and interesting facility really allows them to take ownership of their education,” Ms Jones said.

“Using programs that kids are familiar with and enjoy using, such as Minecraft and Scratch made this learning adventure an enjoyable one as well as an informative and enlightening experience.”

The site visit played a crucial and insightful opportunity for students to verify their work and they had the chance to demonstrate their knowledge of Santos GLNG’s Curtis Island operations and the liquification of gas.

During the site visit they got to engage with those processes firsthand under the guidance of Operations Superintendent Brock Rothe, and Onshore Installation Manager Rob Graham.

“We hope interacting with staff on site has inspired the students to become the next generation of STEM experts,” Ms Jones said.

Chanel College Principal, Dr Susan Bunkum said this tour wasn’t just an ordinary school field trip; it was a golden opportunity for students to immerse themselves in a dynamic, real-world environment, celebrating their ingenious digital creations they had worked so hard on.

“The gamification of classroom learning is a great tool for educators to take advantage of, especially when dealing with challenging and technical topics,” Dr Bunkum said.

“We’re very appreciative of this rare opportunity, partnering with the QMEA and Santos GLNG to fuel the imaginations of young minds and lighting up the path towards a brighter, cleaner energy future.”

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 98 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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