Click here for photos of STEM Tradies for a Day at Middlemount Community School.
Click here for photos of Resourceful Robots at Tieri State School.
Central Queensland students are exploring the magnitude of exciting career opportunities on offer in the resources sector at a series of workshops delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
Thanks to support from Anglo American, about 75 students from Middlemount Community School and Tieri State School have this week bolstered their science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM), and trade-based skills across two days of interactive educational experiences.
Yesterday, Grade 10 students rotated through a series of trade-based activities, opening their minds to what is needed for a safe and successful trade career, and in the afternoon the cohort put their coding knowledge to the test as they programmed Lego EV3 robots to drive autonomously around a simulated mine site.
Today, Tieri State School students in Grades five and six are boosting their IT skills as they complete the same Lego EV3 challenge in teams.
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said there has never been a better time for young, enthusiastic people with a passion for problem-solving and innovative technology to join our industry.
“The resources and energy sector employs some of the most skilled and highest-paid professionals across a range of technical disciplines, and an enduring skills shortage means there is no shortage of rewarding job opportunities for the next generation,” Ms Jones said.
“From auto electricians and welders to environmental scientists and mining engineers, there’s an abundance of STEM and vocational pathways available, and the workshops this week have given the students a sneak-peek into some of the sector’s most in-demand professions.”
General Manager of Anglo American’s Aquila Mine, Shane McDowall, said the dual STEM- trade focus of these workshops integrated exciting technology with the classroom curriculum, delivered in a resources context.
“We’re committed to supporting regional skills development, including in STEM and trade areas, and we hope these experiences encourage students to pursue tertiary pathways to a rewarding career in mining,” he said.
“Our team enjoys sharing their knowledge and experience with the next generation, so it was great to have representatives from both our local underground and open cut teams share their experiences with the students and mentor them as they worked through workshops activities. Thank you to everyone who supported the workshops.
Middlemount Community School Principal, Mr Rod Flood said students across all year levels greatly benefit from applying their school studies to real-world challenges.
“QMEA workshops are an invaluable opportunity for students to get hands-on work experience in the safety of a classroom environment,” Mr Flood said.
“We’re passionate about preparing our students for life after school, and these activities have helped them build their teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.”
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 90 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.