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The engineers, geologists and drone operators of tomorrow could be in the ranks of Year Seven students at St Joseph’s Nudgee College, following the delivery today (July 27) of two industry-based workshops by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA).
The QMEA is the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council and offers students the chance to connect science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) learning with real-world applications found in the resources sector.
Nudgee has joined 90 other Queensland schools to become a QMEA partner school, which opens up opportunities for students to explore the career possibilities of a trade or tertiary pathway into the state’s highly-paid minerals and energy sector.
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said about 40 Grade 7 and 8 students are working alongside industry experts from Glencore Coal as they complete resources-related activities linked to the national science curriculum.
“Students are enhancing their STEM skills whilst also learning about the different types of exciting and rewarding career opportunities the resources sector has to offer.
“Both engineers and geologists are experiencing an enduring skills demand which won’t change any time soon,” Ms Jones said.
“During the ‘Pulleys for Productivity’ session, students studied how a simple engineering mechanism like a pulley is used to make an otherwise challenging task like lifting heavy objects an easy feat.
“This gave them an opportunity to understand how the skills they’re picking up in classroom physics lessons are used in everyday activities across the resources sector,” Ms Jones said.
This afternoon, students will also embark on a geology adventure as they investigate how the rate of cooling affects igneous rock formations during our ‘Watch it Cool’ workshop.
“This features experiments designed to help students understand how geologists interpret the conditions under which rocks form.
“Using microscopes and the expert advice from Glencore Coal’s Hail Creek geologist Mike Devine, students will scrutinise and sketch the differences between crystal size and shape,” Ms Jones said.
“This is an important concept for a number of industries but especially resources because it allows geologists to infer how various cooling conditions lead to different geological formations, which often indicates where specific mineral deposits are found.”
St Joseph’s Nudgee College Principal, Mr Peter Fullager said the school is very excited to be hosting its first engagement since becoming a QMEA-affiliated school.
“We’re extremely proud to be partnering with the QMEA to deliver engaging, hands-on activities to our students to demonstrate how the school curriculum is giving them a head start on their career pathways,” Mr Fullager said.
“Students are always eager to learn how their classroom theory can be applied in the real world, and today’s workshops provide a unique and stimulating forum for them to understand how their STEM skills can be applied after they leave school.”
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.