Glencore Qld Metals 1

Click here for photos of Beakers.Bots.Build.
Click here for photos of Tradies for a Day.

The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) has transformed traditional education this week, delivering two innovative learning experiences in Mount Isa and Townsville that showcased the world of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and trades fun, thanks to support from Glencore Queensland Metals.

The Queensland Resources Council’s (QRC) education arm travelled to north-west Queensland on Tuesday to deliver its STEM-sational ‘Beakers.Bots.Build’ program where 20 Year 9 students from Good Shepherd Catholic College completed hands-on STEM activities from a resources industry context.

“These budding young STEM enthusiasts kicked off the day investigating the power of lasers and mirrors and mastered the art of incidence and reflection,” QRC Director Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said.

“Guiding a laser beam through a maze, students put their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to the test as they manoeuvred a beam of light around a fixed obstacle. With this, students discover the practical application of the same skill set and technology used by surveyors in their profession.”

Students then moved onto a robotics extravaganza, programming Lego EV3 robots to navigate between three crucial points, maximizing efficiency in the world of autonomous vehicles, before finishing the day designing and building their own model-scale coal sorting machine capable of removing specific objects without manual intervention.

Glencore Mount Isa Mines Manager, Human Resources and Training, Ms Fiona Pascoe said the STEM-focused workshop helped empower the next generation with the right skills and knowledge to forge a successful future in mining.

“Glencore Queensland Metals was proud to support the delivery of ‘Tradies for a Day’ in Townsville this week, giving students from local communities in which we operate the opportunity to get their hands dirty and explore the trades that power our world,” Ms Pascoe said.

“Mentored by experienced apprentices and tradespeople from Glencore Queensland Metals, yesterday 20 Year 10 students from Kirwan State High School were immersed in in-demand trade professions as they rotated through activities like auto electrics, pneumatics, engineering measurement, engineering drawing, mechanical skills, and welding principles.”

Kirwan State High School Principal, Ms Heather Murry said the already unique QMEA ‘Tradies for a Day’ program was stretched to two full days this week, with students getting the exclusive opportunity to visit Glencore’s Townsville Copper Refinery today.

“In addition to students trying out various hands-on activities that reflect highly sought-after trade skills in the resources and energy sector, students also got to visit an operating refinery and go behind the scenes to see how the skills they picked up at the trades workshop translate to rewarding, real-world careers,” Ms Murry said.

“At a time when these bright young minds are considering subject selection for their final years of secondary school, this unparalleled experience will play an important role in helping them make informed decisions about their education or training pathways.”

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 98 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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