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Students from The Cathedral College in Rockhampton are learning how the practical skills they gain from the classroom in subjects like science, maths and technologies can lead them to an exciting and rewarding future in the resources sector.

Thanks to support from Coronado Global Resources Curragh Mine, the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), which is the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), is delivering its popular Beakers.Bots.Build workshop today.

About 30 Year 9 students will work in teams to harness the physics of light to navigate obstacles at a mine site using lasers and mirrors. Then, students will program Lego EV3 robots to autonomously drive around a simulated mini mine site before putting their design and construction skills to the test by prototyping mini machines to remove waste rock from a conveyor belt of product.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said it’s 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.

“The students learn about science, coding and engineering, and how to apply the skills they’ve learned to problem solving, communication and teamwork.”

Coronado Global Resources Chief People and Sustainability Officer, Ms Emma Pollard, said its partnership with the QMEA helps local students in the community in which it operates understand the importance of the resources sector.

“The Coronado Curragh Mine in Central Queensland 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,” she said.

“It’s great to have members of our Coronado team supporting today’s workshop, using their industry experience to mentor 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 will encourage these bright young men and women to pursue one of the many pathways available to a rewarding career in mining.”

The Cathedral College Principal, Rob Alexander said the school welcomed the engagement with the QMEA and members of the Coronado Curragh team.

“These experiences are 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 our local region,” Mr Alexander 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.

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