STEM Unearthed_Biloela 1

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From ore to awe, Biloela students are today unearthing valuable new science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills at an exciting learning experience delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

Thanks to support from Batchfire Resources, about 24 Year 9 and 10 students from Biloela State High School and Redeemer Lutheran College, Biloela are mining for knowledge and excavating rewarding career opportunities at ‘STEM Unearthed’.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said this unique workshop brings the exciting world of the resources and energy sector to the classroom where students complete fun, industry-contextualised STEM activities linked to the Australian Curriculum.

“Today starts with ‘Finding Coal is your Goal’ where students work in teams to run their own simulated mine sites, factoring in realistic challenges like finances, equipment maintenance and inventory, mine life, and post-mining rehabilitation,” Ms Jones said.

“Putting on lab coats and safety goggles, they’ll then become chemical engineers and geologists as they extract metal from rocks, investigating how Queensland’s resources industry produces critical minerals that power modern society.”

Batchfire Resources CEO, Mr Allan Fidock, said its partnership with the QMEA plays an instrumental role in educating Biloela’s next generation of STEM professionals.

“STEM Unearthed is a fantastic opportunity for students on the precipice of choosing subjects for their final years of secondary school to discover how their STEM learning is applied in an industry operating in their backyard,” Mr Fidock said.

“This experience empowers them with the right tools and knowledge to make informed decisions about their education or training pathways after school, and we hope they’re inspired to pursue an exciting career at Batchfire Resources, or the broader resources and energy sector.”

Biloela State High School Principal, Ms Natasha Bunn said the final ‘STEM-tastic’ activity of the day will require critical thinking, scientific enquiry, and problem-solving in addition to collaboration and effective communication.

“Testing their process engineering prowess, students will need to create the perfect drink of water that meets temperature, volumetric, and time constraints,” Ms Bunn said.

“This challenge has been cleverly created to demonstrate the importance of science concepts, as well as professional skills like trial and error, following instructions, and meeting project scope on time.”

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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