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Students from Moura State High School are learning that chemistry, physics, and coding aren’t only used in their classrooms but are critical skills that can lead them to an exciting future in the resources sector.
Thanks to support from Anglo American, the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), which is the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), delivered its popular Beakers.Bots.Build workshop today.
About 35 Grade 9 students worked in teams to program Lego EV3 robots to autonomously drive around a simulated mini mine site before they embarked on a laboratory activity where they compared two methods for extracting metal from rocks to test which one yielded the best results.
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said this unique educational experience was an opportunity for students to apply their science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) skills to real-world scenarios from a resources industry context.
“The resources and energy sector uses advanced technologies and best-practice operational solutions to deliver better outcomes from a health, safety, and environmental perspective,” Ms Jones said.
“There are a multitude of exciting career pathways on offer for the next generation, and today’s workshop helps students connect the STEM skills they’re learning at school to local job opportunities.”
General Manager of Anglo American’s Dawson Mine, Clarence Robertson, said its partnership with the QMEA helps local students in the community in which it operates understand the importance of the resources sector.
“Anglo American produces steelmaking coal, which is not only essential for things like bridges and railways or home appliances and cars, but it’s also critical in supporting the transition to a low carbon economy,” he said.
“It was great having members of our Anglo American team supporting today’s workshop, mentoring students through different activities and providing personal insights into the exciting roles on offer in our sector for many years to come.
“We’re committed to regional skills development, including in STEM areas, and we hope this experience has encouraged these bright young men and women to pursue tertiary pathways to a rewarding career in mining.”
Moura State High School Principal, Ms Jill Lees said this workshop was the third QMEA engagement the school has eagerly participated in just the last two months.
“These experiences are always a fantastic opportunity for our students to see how the school curriculum translates to tangible STEM skills that can lead them to exciting job opportunities in their hometown,” Ms Lees said.
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.