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Almost 30 Wandoan State School students will today (26 May) have an opportunity to try their hand at a trade as well as fine-tune their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) expertise.

Local students are taking part in the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA)’s combined ‘STEM Unearthed’ and ‘Tradies for a Day’ workshop, thanks to Glencore Wandoan Coal Project.

The QMEA is the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and is offering this combined workshop to students in Years 7-10 to show how classroom learnings of STEM are used in the real world.

Students will also have an opportunity to get some hands-on experience as a tradesperson.

“Whether students enjoy the hands-on experience or prefer the academic challenges, the aim of the event today is to provide them with an opportunity to discover the variety of career pathways that exist, both trade and professional, within the sector,” said QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Katrina-Lee Jones.

“Future trade careers could include being an auto electrician, boilermaker or diesel mechanic, and professional STEM careers include becoming a mining engineer, geologist, process engineer or environmental engineer.

“Whichever pathway they decide to follow, our workshop will help develop their skill-sets in teamwork, problem solving and communication.”

“Our staff always enjoy talking to students about career options and giving them guidance on how to enter their chosen pathway,” said Glencore Wandoan Coal Project’s Land and Property Coordinator, Rick Matthews.

“It’s a great opportunity to show students first-hand some of the skills involved in the resources sector and spark an interest in these careers,” he said.

“The hands-on nature of the activities really helps students connect classroom learning with real-world applications and help students start thinking about possible career pathways and setting career goals,” said Wandoan State School’s Principal Jack Mathewson.

The QMEA is Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and skills training initiative and seeks to broaden student and teacher knowledge of VET and STEM career opportunities in the resources sector.

The academy is largely funded by QRC members and sponsors, and currently delivers hands-on workshops and programs to 80 Queensland schools. The QMEA has a focus on increasing female and Indigenous participation and is part of the Gateway to Industry Schools Program which is supported and funded by the Queensland Government.

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