Beakers Bots Build Wandoan

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About 25 Grade 9 students from Wandoan and Taroom State Schools are today (24 May) piecing together their pathway for a potential future career in the resources sector, thanks to Senex Energy.

The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), is in the Western Downs region to deliver the exciting Beakers.Bots.Build workshop.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Katrina-Lee Jones said students will be guided by QMEA and Senex Energy representatives as they use problem-solving and teamwork skills to compete in a series of industry-related challenges such as programming a Lego EV3 robot to perform functions similar to automated vehicles, and then designing and building a self-propelled device that consistently removes unwanted material from a stream of raw products similar to a handling and preparation plant.

“The increasing demand for professionals with strong science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) skills in the minerals and energy sector means the future is full of rewarding career opportunities for these students,” Ms Jones said.

“In addition to encouraging the students to continue pursuing their interest in STEM subjects and skills, today’s workshop helps raise student and teacher awareness of the various industry roles and career pathways.

“The workshop activities also provide an exciting and engaging format for the students to connect what they’re learning in the classroom to real-world applications in a technologically advanced and sustainable industry.”

Senex Energy Community Relations Manager, Trevor Robertson said Senex is an active member of the Roma and Wandoan district communities in which it produces gas.

“Supporting skills development in local schools not only benefits Western Downs students, but also helps Senex contribute to ensuring a skilled talent pipeline into the resources industry,” Mr Robertson said.

“It was fantastic to have Senex Energy’s General Manager of Planning, Sigrid Groenhout and Drilling and Completions Engineer Julian Murahidy at today’s workshop to mentor the students as they completed workshop activities and shared personal insights into rewarding career opportunities in our organisation and the resources sector.”

Wandoan State School Principal, Mr Jack Mathewson said this was the second QMEA workshop in just one week in which students had eagerly participated with support from Senex Energy.

“Preparing our students for life after school is a critical component of their senior school journey, and the Beakers.Bots.Build workshop shows them how the school curriculum will stay with them long after graduation,” Mr Mathewson said.

“One of the favourite activities among the students today was programming a Lego robot which helped the students further develop their digital technology skills while simulating an increasingly common resources industry practice – managing autonomous vehicles.”

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

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