STEM Trades_Miles

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Students from Miles State High School are excitedly building their professional and life skills as they design, plot and construct a model gas pipeline at a Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) workshop today.

Thanks to support from Origin Energy as Upstream Operator for APLNG, about 60 students from Grades 7 to 9 are bolstering their science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) knowledge at a unique, full-day educational experience.

Incorporating both STEM and trade-related activities, the STEM Trades Day workshop created by QMEA, the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), is being delivering a to a group of enthusiastic students to help them understand the process behind natural gas production.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said the tasks are cleverly structured to allow students to explore the various skills and careers needed in the resources and energy sector.

“From surveyors and heavy machinery operators to engineers and welders, there are a magnitude of exciting roles on offer in the natural gas industry, with so many local job opportunities in the Western Downs region,” Ms Jones said.

“Under the guidance of experienced representatives from Origin Energy, students will work in teams to complete multi-disciplinary tasks with real-world applications, all of which will require excellent communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.”

Steve Thatcher, General Manager Asset East for Origin, said the natural gas industry relies on the expertise of STEM professionals and tradespeople who use best-practice procedures and evolving technologies.

“Students are rotating through a series of realistic activities today like plotting and planning their pipeline including using lasers and mirrors to understand how surveyors work around obstacles, moving their pipeline materials by leveraging the power of physics as they explore how a series of pulleys can transport large-scale equipment, and lifting heavy pipes through the use of model hydraulic arms,” Mr Thatcher said.

“By connecting their tangible skills with industry-related challenges, we hope the students will see just how innovative, dynamic, and exciting a possible career with Origin can be.”

Miles State High School Principal, Mrs Josette Moffatt said today’s workshop was an excellent opportunity for the students to explore how the school curriculum is linked to life outside the classroom.

“As educators, we know students greatly benefit from fun, hands-on activities that complement their STEM learning,” Mrs Moffatt said.

“It’s fantastic to have representatives from Origin and the QMEA here today not only to mentor the students through workshop tasks, but also give them firsthand advice on the different local career pathways on offer.”

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.

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