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More than 200 local students swarmed to the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) Drone Challenge today at the CQUniversity Maria Campus in Gladstone.

Word has spread about the science technology engineering and maths (STEM) challenge, the only one of its kind in this region, with attendance more than doubling last year’s when it was first conducted by the QMEA, the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QMEA).

The event is being led by Toolooa State High School’s STEM Squad students who developed training videos, which are guiding the participating schools as they worked on their projects throughout term 3.

The event is supported by Shell QGC who along with a number of other resources companies, will provide professional staff to mentor the students through the event’s challenges.

“Drones are one of the numerous technologies used by the resources sector and this event helps to demonstrate this to the primary and secondary students,” said QRC Director Skills and Education Katrina-Lee Jones.

“They will see how their classroom work is related to leading-edge technologies used every day in the real world,” she said.

“By talking to the resources sector professionals, they will also hear firsthand about some of the great careers open to them in the sector.

“Students will undertake challenges in flare management as well as environmental and engineering practices that span across both upstream and downstream gas operations.

“Skills in drone programming, flying, maintenance and management are among the emerging skills required in the gas sector.

“These young people will play an important role in the future in enhancing safety and efficiency with these types of technologies.

“We hope this event will inspire many of the students to consider resources sector pathways.”

The students are vying for trophies and medals for best school and best dressed team.

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.

Media Contact: Caroline Morrissey  0417 770893 or Carolinem@qrc.org.au

QMEA Drone Challenge 

Primary School Division

West SS

St Francis Catholic College

Clinton SS

Yarwun SS

Kin Kora SS

Secondary School Division

Calliope SHS

Gladstone SHS

Toolooa SHS

Tannum Sands SHS

Chanel College

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