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Clermont and Capella state high school students attending a Beakers.Bots.Build workshop run by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) in Capella today could be the future mining leaders of tomorrow.
That’s the word from QMEA Skills and Training Director Katrina-Lee Jones, who said students at both schools are well positioned to embrace the high-tech resources careers of the future.
Sponsored by Glencore Coal, today’s hands-on workshop was all about encouraging students to keep developing their science, maths, engineering and technology (STEM) skills to open up career opportunities in the resources sector.
Over 30 Year Nine students across the two schools used lasers, Lego and lateral thinking to discover how classroom learning can be applied to a diverse range of trade and professional jobs in the minerals and energy sector.
Glencore Coal’s Human Resources Manager, Anthony Exelby said the advancement and uptake of new technologies in the resources sector will lead to increasingly safer, more agile and more sustainable and efficient operations.
“This is something that Glencore hopes will appeal to high school students as they embark on an educational or training pathway into their desired career,” he said.
“It’s important we encourage the next generation to consider how they can contribute to the resources sector of the future, and the best way to do this is to display the exciting and advanced technologies our industry has adopted.”
Director of Skills, Education and Diversity with the QMEA, Katrina-Lee Jones said it was critical to engage with Year Nine students at a pivotal time in their educational journey.
“Now, more than ever, the resources sector needs a skilled workforce, particularly with a strong background in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”
“The activities in this workshop have been strategically designed to encourage students to pursue excellence and further studies in STEM subjects as they enter their senior years of high school,” she said.
Capella State High School Principal, Ms Gerowyn Lacaze commended the QMEA for developing an interactive workshop that aligns the national curriculum with real-world challenges.
“Unlike a lot of traditional class-based learning, our students today got to use lasers to manipulate light to manoeuvre around obstacles, program a Lego EV3 robot, and to try and move a coin without physically touching it,” Ms Lacaze said.
“These are all activities that directly link to the fundamental theories they are learning at school but replicate modern-day industry challenges, whilst allowing the students to put their problem solving, teamwork, communication and digital skills to the test.”
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 industry and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.