Click here for photos of Physics in Flight at Mansfield State High School.

Click here for STEM Tradies for a Day at Redeemer Lutheran College

Click here for photos of Resourceful Robots at Bundamba State Secondary College.

Click here for photos of Mining for Code at Craigslea State High School.

Click here for photos of Skills for Career Success at Australian Industry Trade College.


It was a fusion of minds and mines across Brisbane classrooms recently as the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) immersed inquisitive innovators in a series of exciting science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and career focussed workshops.

Thanks to support from Queensland Resources Council (QRC) member companies, about 250 students from five south-east Queensland schools got the opportunity to enhance their skills to propel them into rewarding careers within Queensland’s resources and energy sector.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said the QMEA currently engages with students in 98 schools across Queensland, from regional and remote towns to metropolitan cities, and aims to partner with 100 schools by the end of the year.

“Since our humble beginnings in 2005 in 11 secondary schools, we’re extremely proud to be Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools initiative, inspiring the hearts and minds of Gen-Z to pursue exciting pathways into Queensland’s world-class resources and energy sector,” Ms Jones said.

“With the industry’s enduring demand for STEM professionals, the workshops we deliver in south-east Queensland play a critical role in helping the next generation understand the important role mining plays in powering modern society, and helping the world transition to net zero.”

The ‘STEM-tacular’ action-packed adventures kicked off in time for Science Week, with Mansfield State High School hosting its first workshop since becoming a QMEA partner school.

Year 7 students worked in teams to craft the best paper aeroplane that would secure them first place in a competition for the longest flight time, helping them discover the power of fundamental physics concepts.

Redeemer Lutheran College Head of Senior School, Ms Anastasia Strong said about 60 Year 10 students participated in the QMEA’s unforgettable ‘STEM Tradies for a Day’ workshop where they discovered the myriad of rewarding STEM and trades career opportunities on offer in the resources sector.

“The day started off with a treasure hunt where students eagerly worked under the guidance of a Geotechnical Engineer from Anglo American, a Mechanical Engineer from Glencore Technology, and Diesel Fitter and Apprentice Coordinator from Hastings Deering.

“Students looked for clues around the classroom that linked elements in the Periodic Table with everyday products made possible thanks to minerals and energy,” Ms Strong said.

“They then moved onto operating their own simulated mini-mine sites, factoring in finances, inventory management, time management, and even post-mining rehabilitation. After a STEM-packed morning, students got the rare opportunity to rotate through various trade-based activities in the safety of their classroom environment, including electrical wiring, mechanical, and even virtual welding.

“I would like to thank QMEA for this great opportunity for our students. We are proud of our students who showed curiosity and enthusiasm during this world class industry experience.”

Digital innovation and high-tech careers were then the focus at a ‘Resourceful Robots’ workshop at Bundamba State Secondary College, followed by ‘Mining for Code’ at Craigslea State High School. Students programmed Lego EV3 robots to autonomously drive around a quadrant, moving between the start line, a ‘coal stockpile’ and a ‘coal processing and handling plant’. They also put their coding skills to the test with miniature computers called ‘Arduinos’, producing a series of flashing lights that represent safety features on hard hats.

Wrapping up an eventful few weeks, today the inaugural ‘Skills for Career Success’ will be delivered to about 50 Year 10 students from Australian Industry Trade College, Spring Hill. With valuable professional guidance from Human Resources representatives from Anglo American, students will pick up helpful interview tips that will give them the confidence to promote themselves during the recruitment phase, before completing activities that focus on active listening, and effective verbal and non-verbal communication.

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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