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Around 25 Townsville students yesterday (27 April) dug into some thrilling science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) activities at the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy’s (QMEA) ‘STEM Unearthed’ workshop.
Thanks to Glencore Queensland Metals, Year 10 students from Kirwan State High School worked in teams to compete in activities simulating real-world challenges throughout various aspects of a mine site and focussing on science and engineering-related professions.
Representatives from Glencore’s Refinery and Port Operations and the QMEA, the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), guided students over the course of the day while they completed design and experimental stages of workshop activities, allowing them to get a taste for what a career in mining can look like.
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Katrina-Lee Jones said this workshop plays an important educational role for students embarking on their senior years of high school who want to know what subjects they can choose to pave a pathway of promising opportunities.
“A STEM background plays an integral role in so many aspects of the resources and energy sector, and we want students to know their future is full of exciting potential, both professionally and personally,” she said.
Glencore’s Refinery and Port Operations Manager, Paul Taylor said educating the next generation is a critical component of adding value to the resources industry’s skills pipeline.
“As part of our commitment to contribute to the local communities where we operate, we seek to sustainably grow our business while addressing the needs of society, and the demand for skilled workers with strong STEM backgrounds will only continue to grow”.
“We want students to understand the breadth of opportunities that are open to them in a truly sustainable sector that is constantly adapting and evolving to real-world challenges,” Paul said.
Kirwan State High School Executive Principal, Heather Murry said the workshop allowed students to connect the dots between the school-based STEM curriculum and how it can be applied to everyday life.
“Preparing students for the real world is the foundation of every school, and we feel very fortunate to have hosted this workshop to deliver enhanced learning outcomes for the next generation,” she 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.