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Students from Dalby and Chinchilla state high schools have cracked the code to an exciting career in resources during a workshop delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

Thanks to support from Arrow Energy, about 80 students tested their science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) skills at My Digital World yesterday.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said this unique educational experience, now in its sixth year, saw students use innovative technologies to solve real-world challenges in a resources and agricultural context.

“The resources industry’s uptake of advanced technologies like autonomous vehicles and drones requires a skilled workforce with modern capabilities like programming, coding and remote operating,” Ms Jones said.

“We wanted to show these young men and women that there are exciting careers out there in the resources sector which can lead them to roles like drone pilots, software engineers, or data scientists.”

Arrow Energy’s Vice President of External Relations and Tenure Management, Rachael Cronin said yesterday’s workshop was about showing the students how cutting-edge technologies are used in the resources and energy sector.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the QMEA to deliver this innovative experience for the sixth year in a row, helping students in the communities where we operate deepen their appreciation and understanding of STEM,” Ms Cronin said.

“During one of the activities, students piloted drones to fly safely through fixed obstacles, which is always a crowd favourite.

“At Arrow, we use drones for a range of activities, so it was a great example of how the resource sector is incorporating modern technology to increase efficiency and improve health, safety, and environmental outcomes.”

Dalby State High School Deputy Principal, Ms Narissa Jones said students were eager to get stuck into the robotics and coding activity.

“Working in teams, students programmed a Lego EV3 robot to autonomously travel along a specified route, which was an excellent opportunity for them to apply the IT skills they’re learning in the classroom to an industrial scenario,” she said.

“They competed against each other to see who could score the most points by moving their robot to multiple points within a set time, and then back to the start line,” Ms Jones 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 90 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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