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Roma State College students will get a taste of the highly-skilled and in-demand careers available to them in Queensland’s resources sector when they take part in a STEM Unearthed hands-on workshop today.

Origin Energy specialists will mentor the budding engineers, geologists, metallurgists, and environmental engineers in a workshop run by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

“These workshops show students how the subjects that they study in school have direct relevance to the skills and knowledge required in the resources sector,” Origin General Manager for Spring Gully, Denison, and Pipeline Asset Dave Atkin said today.

“They also give students who might not have traditionally considered a resources sector pathway an opportunity to talk to our employees and see how STEM skills can apply to a wide variety of roles,” he said.

“We have a shortage of skilled people in these areas, so we need to encourage students to consider these careers at a time when they are selecting subjects for their senior high school years,” said QRC’s Director Skills, Education and Diversity Katrina-Lee Jones said.

Roma State College Principal Carole Douglas said the QMEA workshop was helping students see the relevance of their classroom work to the world outside.

“As well as honing their discovery, collaboration, and communication skills, it’s an excellent opportunity to hear first-hand about science, technology, engineering, and maths careers,” she said.

Students will complete three activities over the course of the day, including competing to design the most profitable ‘mine’ and sharpening their process engineering skills to develop and test a perfect soft drink.

They will also learn how to manage electricity demand for their ‘community’, balancing inputs from coal, gas, solar and wind energy and learning how energy is distributed through the National Electricity Market.

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.

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