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Electrical wiring and engineering the perfect drink of water might not sound like a traditional classroom lesson, but an exciting educational experience created by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) is revolutionising the way students bolster their career skills.
Thanks to support from Anglo American, the QMEA, the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) is in Moura today delivering its ‘STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) Tradies for a Day’ workshop that merges science ingenuity, trades, and resource sector excitement.
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said 20 Year 10 students from Moura State High School embarked on an unforgettable learning adventure that brought the dynamic world of resources and energy careers into the classroom through hands-on STEM and trades activities.
“At a time when the resources industry continues to experience an enduring demand for skilled STEM and trade professionals, this event went beyond the horizon of conventional education, fostering critical thinking, teamwork, and problem-solving skills, all against the backdrop of an innovative and evolving sector,” Ms Jones said.
“Guided by representatives from Anglo American’s Dawson Mine, students kicked off the STEM-trades fun as they rotated through various trade-based activities like electrical, mechanical, pneumatics, and even virtual welding.”
General Manager of Anglo American’s Dawson Mine, Dan Iliffe, said Anglo American was pleased to support the workshop as a way to help foster skills development among the next generation of potential resources sector workers.
“These workshops are a great way to build awareness about skills, as well as cultivating connections and sharing the significance of our vibrant industry with tomorrow’s leaders. Our skilled team of professionals really enjoy the chance to work with local students and share their personal career pathway experiences,” he said.
“This program is a timely opportunity for students who are looking to select their subjects for the final years of secondary school to make informed decisions about future education or training pathways.
“We hope today’s workshop inspires these students to consider pathways into rewarding careers at Anglo American, or the broader resources and energy sector,” Mr Iliffe said.
After bolstering their trade skills in the morning, students then moved onto operating their own mini mine sites, factoring in real-world challenges like operating finances, time management, and land rehabilitation.
The final activity saw students put their process planning skills to the test as they were tasked with working in teams to engineer the ‘perfect drink of water’ within materials and time constraints.
Moura State High School Principal, Mrs Jill Lees said industry-contextualised workshops like this played an important role in helping students connect the school curriculum to real-world applications.
“Students are always fascinated to discover how their classroom studies translate to exciting job opportunities after they leave school,” Mrs Lees said.
“Today’s experience allowed students to consider both STEM and trade pathways on offer, and also helped them make personal connections with a major industry that’s part of the Moura community fabric.”
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.