SEQ Events_Oct_1

Click here for photos of ‘STEM Unearthed’ at Craigslea State High School.
Click here for photos of ‘Watch it Cool’ at Craigslea State High School.
Click here for photos of Fortitude Valley State Secondary College workshops.
Click here for photos of ‘Watch it Cool’ at The Gap State High School.

South-east Queensland students recently explored the intersection of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) and the boundless exciting career opportunities in the resources and energy sector at a series of learning experiences delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA).

Marking the conclusion of school-based workshops for 2023 as Term 4 draws to a close, the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) helped Brisbane’s next generation connect STEM concepts and real-world applications in mining, minerals, and energy.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said thanks to support from QRC members, more than 750 students from Years seven, eight, nine and ten were immersed in dynamic educational programs that transcended conventional learning and brought Queensland’s world-class mining industry to the city.

“Students from Craigslea State High School participated in our popular ‘STEM Unearthed’ and ‘Watch it Cool’ programs where they completed a series of hands-on resources-industry contextualised activities,” Ms Jones said.

“About 20 Year 10 students learnt how fundamental science concepts are applied every day in the resources and energy sector as they worked under the guidance of a Senior Metallurgist from Glencore Technology and explored the chemical processing methods behind extracting copper from ore.

“The STEM fun continued when about 50 Year eight students observed crystals cooling and forming under a microscope, which cleverly replicated the formation of igneous rocks and helped them better understand geology principles.”

Over 70 budding geology enthusiasts and five teachers from The Gap State High School also participated in a series of ‘Watch it Cool’ workshops and were mentored by a Resource Strategy Manager from Glencore as they discovered how the rate of cooling affects rock size and structure.

Fortitude Valley State Secondary College Acting Principal, Ms Cally Nielsen said the school was proud to host its first series of workshops since becoming one of QMEA’s newest partner schools.

“Our inaugural QMEA events kicked off with an impressive bang after our entire school of 575 students across Years seven, eight, nine and ten participated in a variety of exciting educational experiences that illustrated the critical role of minerals and resources in powering modern society,” Ms Nielsen said.

“Students programmed Lego EV3 robots that simulated autonomous vehicles, embarked on a treasure hunt around the classroom to uncover clues that linked elements in the Periodic Table to everyday products like smartphones, solar panels, and shampoo, and delved into the wonders of Boyle’s Law with a hydrogen-inspired exercise that explored the relationship between gas pressure and volume.”

The addition of Fortitude Valley State Secondary College as a QMEA partner school represents more than milestone for the QRC’s education branch, it marks yet another successful year in helping shape the resources and energy sector’s future workforce, whilst fostering a passion for STEM among South-East Queensland’s Gen-Z.

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.

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