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An innovative learning experience that skilfully integrates science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with trade activities is unleashing the career potential of the next generation of resources professionals.
The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) is in the Darling Downs region today delivering its popular ‘STEM Tradies for a Day’, thanks to support from Genuity.
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said about 20 Year 10 students from Millmerran State School P-10 are being transported to a world of hands-on learning, brimming with exciting opportunities that explore the many career opportunities in the resources and energy sector.
“From running their own miniature mines to trialling the art of welding through cutting-edge virtual reality technology, this workshop serves as an extraordinary learning environment that fosters critical thinking, teamwork, and innovative problem-solving skills,” Ms Jones said.
“I addition to bolstering their STEM and trade skills, students are getting the chance to sample a range of exciting and highly in-demand local career opportunities available in their hometown.”
Plant Manager at Genuity’s Millmerran Power Station, Mr Shane Burge said the company is proud to partner with the QMEA to deliver exceptional educational experiences to communities in which it operates, while helping the next generation make personal connections with the resources and energy sector.
“Today’s event is all about equipping these students with the professional and life skills needed to make educated decisions and successfully navigate their future career pathways,” Mr Burge said.
“In addition to supporting regional skills development, we hope this experience will spark enthusiasm among the cohort to pursue a career with Genuity.”
Millmerran State School P-10 Principal, Mr Rob Michel said today’s workshop provides the dual benefit of showcasing both STEM and vocational career opportunities to the students.
“Our Year 10 students stand at the precipice of selecting their subjects for the final years of secondary school, and as educators, it is crucial to provide them with the necessary tools to make well-informed choices,” Mr Michel said.
“The students are having a blast today working under the guidance of an electrician, third-year mechanical apprentice, and an operations engineer from Millmerran Power as they rotate through activities like engineering measurement, welding principles, auto electrical systems, pneumatics, and engineering drawing.
“They’ll then get hands-on planning, financial management and process engineering practice when they run and rehabilitate their own mini mines, before moving on to engineer the perfect drink of water later today.”
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 over 90 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.