Beakers.Bots.Build at Miles SHS

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Students from Miles State High School are today (16 June) charging their science and IT learning batteries at an exciting, hands-on workshop run by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) workshop, thanks to support from Origin Energy as Upstream Operator for APLNG.

Today’s Beakers.Bots.Build workshop, designed and delivered by the QMEA, which is the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) sees students complete a series of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) related tasks that simulate real-world applications in the resources and energy sector.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said about 25 Grade 9 students are working alongside representatives from Origin as they put their teamwork, process engineering, and problem-solving skills to the test for a fun-filled day of resources industry-related challenges.

“To demonstrate the industry’s uptake of innovative digital technologies, students are being shown how to program a Lego EV3 robot to move around a miniature gas production site simulating how autonomous vehicles could potentially be used to undertake pipe safety inspections,” Ms Jones said.

“Students will then be tasked with designing a creative mechanism that allows them to move a specific object without touching it, prompting them to consider how innovative processes and simple mechanics can make potentially difficult tasks easier.”

Steve Thatcher, General Manager Asset East for Origin, said the natural gas industry relies on the expertise of engineers, geologists, trained operators, and specialist technicians using best-practice procedures and evolving technologies.

“In addition to our focus on hiring local people, Origin is proud to support programs like today’s, that use education and industry-based skills development and mentoring to empower young Australians to reach their potential, to help inspire students to ultimately choose a STEM based career,” Mr Thatcher said.

“There has never been a better time to pursue a career in the resources and energy sector, and the increasing demand for STEM disciplines means there are a myriad of career opportunities for the next generation to pursue.

“Origin is proud to play our part in fostering this pipeline,” he said.

Miles State High School Principal, Ms Josette Moffatt said today’s workshop engages the students in authentic STEM-related learning opportunities.

“This experience not only provides learning opportunities but fuels our students’ interest in pursuing careers in STEM related industries.

“The engagement of industry personnel through Origin provides our students with direct links to the real world of science in action.

“Beakers.Bots.Build has been cleverly designed by the QMEA to show students how the knowledge and capabilities they’re absorbing in class can be applied in the real world,” she said.

“This will hopefully give them the confidence to choose an education or training pathway as they enter their final years of high school.”

As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools training 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 over 90 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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