Resourceful Robots_Glencore 1

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Two tech-driven workshops delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) this week revealed the ‘source code’ students can use to pursue rewarding careers in the resources end energy sector.

Thanks to support from Glencore Coal, about 60 students from Clermont and Capella state high schools programmed their professional pathway to a future in an industry at the forefront of technological innovation.

QMEA Director, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said the educational experiences focused on nurturing students’ science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) skills, helping them unlock their potential as future leaders in mining and energy.

“Yesterday, about 30 Year 9 students from Clermont State High School cracked the code on how cutting-edge computers and resourceful robots make the resources sector safer, more efficient, and an exciting space to work in,” Ms Jones said.

“Guided by experienced representatives from Glencore Coal, students got a glimpse of real-world automation applications when they programmed Lego EV3 robots to autonomously drive around a mini mine site, simulating the loading and unloading of coal onto conveyor belts.”

Human Resources Manager at Glencore Coal, Anthony Exelby said integration of advanced technologies in the resources and energy sector means there is an abundance of exciting career opportunities on offer for tech-savvy young men and women.

“From data scientists and software engineers to drone pilots and remote operators, our industry employs some of the most skilled and highly paid STEM professionals,” Mr Exelby said.

“By demonstrating how their classroom learning can be applied to solve everyday challenges in a sector operating in their own backyard, we hope these workshops inspire these students to consider a rewarding future in mining, and in particular at Glencore Coal.”

Capella State High School Principal, Ms Gerowyn Lacaze said today, about 30 Year 9 students put their STEM skills to the test as they completed a series of hands-on activities that explore modern science from a resources industry context.

“Our students were tasked with using teamwork, critical thinking, and problem solving to make a machine that simulates sorting unwanted material from conveyor belts, using nothing more than paddle-pop sticks, rubber bands and a few other basic materials,” Ms Lacaze said.

“Knowledgeable staff from Glencore Coal were on-hand to give them feedback on their prototypes and explain how the same physics concept is applied for coal sorting machines.

“This was a fantastic way for them to connect the dots between their science curriculum and real-world technology, further demonstrating how their STEM studies are preparing them for life after school.”

As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools 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 91 schools and is a partnership between industry and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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