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Thinking caps will be on for Miles and Chinchilla students this week during design-thinking workshops run by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC). 

“Chinchilla students will use design-thinking skills and the Arduino open-source electronic prototyping platform to create sound, light and heat monitoring devices monitors with the help of staff from Origin Energy,” said Katrina-Lee Jones, Director Skills Education and Diversity with the QRC. 

“Monitors like this are used every day in the resource sector and it’s a great way for students to see how their classroom work is used in the real world every day,” she said. 

Alexandra Kennedy-Clark, Origin’s General Manager Condabri, Talinga and Orana Asset said Origin is pleased to support the QMEA workshops, which provide real-life opportunities for students to learn about STEM-based careers available in the resources sector. 

“Having the opportunity to speak to our employees and be inspired by their career journeys in industry is really valuable. It’s also important to share the message that a career in the resources sector can allow young people to remain living and working in their home communities,” said Alexandra. 

Miles State High School students will also take part in the Scratch programming activity. 

Chinchilla State High School Principal Ian Insley said these hands-on workshops were a powerful learning aid. 

“Very often, seeing a practical use for theoretical concepts can be that lightbulb moment that students need,” he said. 

Miles State High School Principal Josette Moffatt said students very much appreciated visits by industry people to the school. 

“There’s nothing like face-to-face contact and mentoring to boost students’ enthusiasm and help them set goals for their future,” she said. 

As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and skills 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 VET and STEM-related careers, with a focus on female and Indigenous participation. The QMEA currently engages with 80 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.       

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