Dave O’Dwyer and students

Oakey State High School students got a jump start on science week today when representatives from New Acland Mine visited the school to share their passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

New Acland Mining Operations and Technical Services Manager Dave O’Dwyer and Community Liaison Bec Meacham shared their career stories with students to inspire them to continue studying STEM subjects as part of the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy’s (QMEA) STEM4 School Kids program.

Students experienced hands-on science, undertaking a copper extraction experiment, learning about process engineering techniques and mine resource management.

The visit coincided with the Year 10 students considering their subjects for senior study and future career pathways, in the lead up to National Science Week (11-19 August).

“Bringing the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy to Oakey State High School opens students up to all the different possibilities the resource industry can offer them,” Dave said.

“A lot of resource professional and vocational career pathways are underpinned by high school study in science, technology, engineering and maths so it’s really important to us to get our local students involved in those types of subjects.”

“We’re really passionate about helping our local youth acquire skills that empower them to stay and work in regional Queensland, without having to move away to the big cities to pursue a career.”

“STEM subjects provide an excellent grounding for students and open up a world of opportunities for them – you can see that in action right now at New Acland Mine with our four apprentices and eight trainees.”


Oakey State High School’s Jelena Edhouse Head of Department HPE, Mathematics and Science was appreciative of New Acland’s support and welcomed the hands-on and engaging nature of the workshop.

“It really helped the students to see science in action and understand the practical application of their studies,” she said.

“It’s exciting to see all those light bulb moments occur while they are preparing for the careers of the future.”

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