Lighting the Way

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The pathway to a rewarding career in the resources sector was lit up for 90 Grade 9 students from Roma State College today (31 May) as they completed hands-on activities at a Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) workshop.

Thanks to support from Origin, students investigated how light properties can be used to improve safety at sites across the resources and energy sector during a Lighting the Way workshop run by the QMEA, which is the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said with safety at the forefront of the resources industry and technological innovation transforming traditional processes, pairing safety and technology into a single workshop made sense.

“From reflection and refraction to pulses of infrared light and electromagnetic waves, light plays a significant role in maintaining a safe, stimulating and productive operating environment,” Mr Jones said.

“Today’s workshop was all about showing students how the marvels of fundamental physics are applied to real-world applications in one of the most advanced industries”.

Volunteers from Origin joined the workshop today to guide students through ‘illuminating’ tasks and shared first-hand experiences about the exciting career opportunities the resources and energy sector has to offer.

During the workshop, students investigated the laws of reflection by placing mirrors in different arrangements to identify the correct model that simulates a type of retroreflector.

Aleta Nicoll, General Manager Asset West for Origin, said “retroreflectors are commonly used at work sites as they effectively reflect light back to its source at a wide range of angles, like the material used on our personal protective uniforms, and by cyclists when they want to be clearly visible, particularly at night-time.”

“Ensuring that employees remain visible at all times plays a major role in preventing accidents and improving the overall safety of workers, particularly in low light areas, at night and in busy construction areas, warehouses and high traffic areas,” said Ms Nicoll.

Roma State College Principal, Mr Guy Hendriks said students also looked at how laser technology is being used underground in the industry to check for potential miniscule gas leaks.

“This type of technology is exciting for students to explore as it allows them to understand that the wonders of science have both visible and invisible properties,” Mr Hendriks said.

“We want our students to take the principles of their classroom learning and apply it to real-world challenges, and today’s workshop demonstrated how important the school curriculum is to their future career pathways”.

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.

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