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Year 10 students at Ignatius Park College today discovered that geology is not the only thing that ‘rocks’ during a science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM)-focussed workshop delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA).
STEM Unearthed is a unique school-based experience designed by the QMEA, the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), that demonstrates the symmetries between the mechanics of mining and science-related fields with many resources industry roles.
Thanks to support from Bravus Mining and Resources, about 30 students got the chance to dig beneath the surface and explore the exciting STEM skills required for resources operations, minerals processing, and process engineering.
QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said today’s workshop was important for students to understand how STEM skills picked up in the classroom connect to different, real-world career pathways in this field, particularly in the resources sector.
“Today was a chance for students on the precipice of choosing the subjects in their final years of senior school to work under the guidance of resources sector professionals, mentoring them through STEM-based activities with industry context, Ms Jones said.
“We want the next generation to see there are plenty of fantastic career opportunities on offer, particularly for STEM professionals such as mechanical engineers whose skills are highly in demand.”
Bravus Mining and Resources Chief Operating Officer Mick Crowe said the QMEA program was one of the pillars of Bravus’ commitment to employment and skills development in regional Queensland.
“The mining industry is both the backbone of the Australian economy and of modern society, providing the raw commodities that go into the products we all rely on every day,” Mr Crowe said.
“The fact we employed more than 2,600 people during the construction of the Carmichael Mine and Rail Project, the vast majority of whom came from regional Queensland, is something we’re really proud of.
“Now that our mine and railway are built and we’re exporting high-quality coal, we’re excited to show the next generation exactly what responsible mining looks like, and the pathways that are available and could lead them to a rewarding career at Carmichael.”
Principal of Ignatius Park College, Mr Shaun Clarke said the students really enjoyed putting their STEM skills to the test as they worked in teams to complete fun challenges with real-world applications.
“We know students benefit from interactive learning experiences related to real challenges, and school-based engagements like this are a great way for them to bolster their professional and life skills” Mr Clarke said.
“STEM Unearthed is a clever way to demonstrate the practical applications of fundamental principles of engineering, chemistry, geology, and financial planning, which are all essential to everyday resources industry challenges.”
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 90 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.