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Townsville students today had the unique opportunity to step into the shoes of mine managers, metallurgists, and engineers as they participated in an informative workshop delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
Students from Thuringowa State High School and Tec-NQ unearthed a new passion for science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) as they discovered the many exciting career possibilities in the resources and energy sector, thanks to mining and metals company, South32.
QRC Director of Skills, Education, and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said about 30 inquisitive Year 10 students were immersed in a series of engaging and hands-on activities that challenged their communication, problem-solving, and data analysis skills.
“STEM Unearthed provided an incredible platform for our students to explore the dynamic and innovative world of mining while discovering how their school curriculum can be applied to solve real-world challenges,” Ms Jones said.
“During the first activity, the students ran their own miniature mines, mastering the intricacies of construction, operation, and rehabilitation, while bolstering other professional skills like financial planning, procurement, and time management.”
South32 Cannington Vice President Operations, Joe Russell said the second activity, an absolute crowd favourite, allowed students to dive into the foundations of chemistry as they extracted metal from rock.
“At South32, we produce commodities that serve as vital components in everyday household items and renewable energy products like solar panels and electric car batteries,” Mr Russell said.
“This workshop offered these bright minds a firsthand insight into resources and energy, and we hope it has inspired them to embark on a rewarding career at South32.”
Thuringowa State High School Principal, Ms Kaylene Mladenovic said students embraced the world of process engineering in the final activity of the day, employing various strategies such as trial and error, prediction, and process refinement to design the perfect drink of water.
“Process engineering sparks creativity and encourages students to explore innovative approaches to achieve consistent and accurate results as a team,” Ms Mladenovic said.
“These skills will not only benefit them beyond the classroom but also set them on a path of immense professional growth and development.”
As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools 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 the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.