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Moura’s next generation of process engineers, coders, and metallurgists today discovered how science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) are among the driving forces behind the resources and energy sector’s excellence.
With support from Anglo American, 26 Year 9 students from Moura State High School participated in an exciting hands-on learning experience delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones, said ‘Beakers.Bots.Build’ challenged students’ intellect, creativity, and teamwork, which helped them discover the myriad career opportunities for STEM professionals.
“Under the guidance of the experienced Anglo American team, students completed a series of resources industry-contextualised activities that were a dynamic fusion of imagination, exploration, and problem-solving,” Ms Jones said.
“The STEM fun kicked off when students programmed Lego EV3 robots to drive around a simulated mine site, representing the high-tech machinery our industry uses such as autonomous vehicles.
“They then put their chemistry skills to the test as they investigated how to separate a mixture of sand, salt, and iron – something our industry’s process engineers and metallurgists do every day.”
General Manager of Anglo American’s Dawson Mine, Dan Iliffe, said Anglo American was proud to partner with the QMEA to deliver this unique workshop to help local kids understand how STEM classes were applied to real-world applications in mining.
“STEM professionals play a critical role in our industry, and today’s program gave Moura’s next generation the opportunity to immerse themselves in various in-demand roles, potentially shaping their future careers and the success of our industry,” he said.
“This workshop was a fantastic way for these students to see firsthand how pursuing further STEM studies in their final years of secondary school could set them up as the STEM leaders of tomorrow.”
Moura State High School Acting Principal, Mrs Halena Hall said the day wrapped up with an activity that saw students design and build a device capable of moving a coin without manual intervention.
“Creatively replicating the intricate coal-sorting machines used in the resources industry, this task showcased how the mining industry uses innovation and engineering to make difficult tasks safer, easier, and more efficient,” Mrs Hall said.
“Students are always eager to understand how their classroom learning translates to real-world challenges, and today’s program cleverly complemented their science curriculum with engaging and fun activities.”
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 99 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.