Mining for Code

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Year 7 students from Clermont State High School have today (3 May) cracked the code to a magnitude of exciting career opportunities at the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy’s (QMEA) ‘Mining for Code’ workshop.

QMEA Director of Skills, Education and Diversity Katrina-Lee Jones said choosing a professional or trade pathway after school might be a daunting concept, but if the next generation is looking to work with innovative technologies in a sector with sustainability at the forefront, they need to look no further than resources.

Thanks to the support of Glencore Coal, around 40 students from Clermont State High School today worked alongside industry professionals to test their science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) skills as they completed activities in programming, automation, and route optimisation.

Students programmed a “mining truck” (EV3 Robot) to travel autonomously from a designated “mine site” to another area simulating a “processing plant”, where it was then unloaded before travelling back to the “mine site”.

Glencore Coal’s Human Resources Manager, Anthony Exelby said the diversified, global mining company, and the resources sector in general has a myriad of professional and trade roles that students can pursue through STEM or vocational pathways after school. 

“The subjects that students choose in their senior high school years heavily influence the study and training-based options available to them upon graduation,” he said. 

“By engaging with students in the early stages of the senior school journey, we aim to not only show them the various exciting career opportunities on offer in the resources industry, but also encourage them to continue excelling in STEM subjects.” 

QMEA’s Katrina-Lee Jones said professionals with strong STEM backgrounds are highly sought after in the resources sector. 

“Students are often pleasantly surprised to learn about the high-tech and rapidly evolving careers in the mining industry, and QMEA workshops are all about demonstrating how STEM subjects can play an integral role in shaping a student’s education pathway after school”. 

Clermont State High School Principal, Mrs Leigh Dyer said students will come away enlightened and inspired to pursue new challenges in the digital and robotics space. 

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our Year sevens to see how modern technology is used to solve real-world challenges in an industry that has coexisted with our regional community for more than a century,” Mrs Dyer said. 

“We want students to see that there are exciting careers to pursue in their very own backyard, and this workshop demonstrates the important role classroom learning plays in shaping their future.” 

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.

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