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More than 35 students from North-West Queensland will uncover how Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) play a fundamental role in the resources sector when they take part in the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA)’s ‘STEM Unearthed’ workshop this week (21st and 22nd April).

The QMEA, the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), is kicking off term two with Year 10 students from St. Joseph’s Catholic School (Cloncurry – 21 April) and Spinifex State College & Good Shepherd Catholic College (Mount Isa – 22 April) in a bid to provide them with insight into the many career opportunities available in the sector including chemical engineering, environmental engineering, geology and metallurgy.

“The main goal of the program is to show students how the subjects that they study in school have direct relevance to the skills and knowledge required in the resources sector,” said QRC’s Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Katrina-Lee Jones.

“Thanks to the support from South32 in Cloncurry and Glencore MIM in Mount Isa, ‘STEM Unearthed’ will see these students working in groups to complete three activities over the course of the day,” she said.

“The activities each have a resources sector flavour with the students competing to have the best run ‘mine’, comparing different techniques of copper extraction and then also sharpening their process engineering skills while developing and testing the process for ‘the perfect drink’,”

South32 Cannington Vice President Operations, Joe Russell said “South32 is passionate about helping students to develop their STEM skills and ultimately to consider a career in the resources sector.

“We are particularly proud to support female students and those who might not have traditionally considered a career in the mining industry,”

“South32 funds a wide range of STEM initiatives across the country, and we congratulate all those taking part in the QMEA workshop,”

Glencore Queensland Metals Human Resources Group Manager, Clint Milner said “As a foundation sponsor of QMEA we’ve been encouraging STEM programs, like STEM Unearthed, in classrooms for around 16 years.”

  “This event will highlight to students how STEM skills underpin many roles within the resources sector and show them how techniques and concepts learnt at school have real world application.”

“These skills can lead to rewarding careers in many industries, in fact at Queensland Metals we have multiple STEM-related employment pathways available to students such as the Girls for Mining Mentoring and School Leavers programs, work experience, apprenticeships, and Vacation and Graduate program for those heading to university.”

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. Currently engaging with 80 schools, the QMEA is part of the Gateway to Industry Schools Program, proudly supported and funded by the Queensland Government.

The QRC is Queensland’s peak representative body for coal, metal and gas explorers, producers and suppliers across the resources sector. It contributes one in every five dollars to the Queensland economy, sustains one in six Queensland jobs, supports more than 15,000 businesses and contributes to more than 1,200 community organisations across the state – all from 0.1 percent of Queensland’s land mass.


Media Contact: Ellie Blumel – 0448122948 or ellieb@qrc.org.au

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