Future HyWay_Darling Downs

Click here for photos of Toowoomba State High School.
Click here for photos of Oakey State High School.

 

The resources and energy sector is on the road to decarbonisation, and the next generation will play a critical role in helping it achieve net zero emissions.

Two workshops delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) this week are fuelling students’ passion for sustainable and clean energy, thanks to support from the Australia Gas Industry Trust (AGIT).

The QMEA, the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), is using one of its unique educational experiences to show Toowoomba and Oakey State High School students just how powerful hydrogen is.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said Future HyWay is an exciting, hands-on workshop that allows students to investigate hydrogen as a clean fuel source.

“The first activity of the full-day workshop saw students dove into data analysis and reaction rates, looking at the ratio and volume of hydrogen and oxygen produced when an electrolyser is used with water,” Ms Jones said.

“In addition to being an interactive and innovative way to explore green hydrogen production, this activity lets the students apply their fundamental chemistry and mathematic skills to real-world technology.”

Executive Officer at AGIT, Dr Jen Thompson said building a more secure and sustainable energy future for Australia meant empowering the next generation with the right knowledge and skills in clean fuel utilisation.

“After learning about electrolysis and green hydrogen production, students moved onto studying fuel cell theory by measuring the hydrogen consumption rate for powering a motor,” Ms Thompson said.

“When they’re older, these students will quite possibly drive hydrogen-powered vehicles themselves, so this part of the workshop was a fantastic way for them to understand the role of clean fuels and breakthrough technology in a decarbonised world.”

Toowoomba State High School Principal, Mr Ashley Roediger said the day wrapped up with a ‘clear workshop favourite’, the hydrogen fuel cell-powered car race.

“This was an exciting opportunity for the students to use teamwork, creative design, and problem solving to construct and race their very own model hydrogen-powered vehicles, including an all-in-one electrolyser and fuel cell system,” Mr Roediger said.

“Our students loved getting the opportunity to put their STEM skills into practice yesterday, and it’s easy to see why this popular workshop has now been delivered four times across Queensland in the past three weeks.”

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 90 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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