STEM Unearthed - Thuringowa - South32 16 July
Students experiment with engineering
16 July 2021


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Students from Thuringowa State High School, in Townsville, will be well positioned for valuable and productive engineering careers after seeing first-hand what’s involved and how to navigate the pathway from school to engineer.

The students are taking part today in a STEM Unearthed workshop conducted by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council, and supported by South32.

“This workshop will concentrate on skills required in process and mining engineering, which is timely with the current shortage of engineers in Australia, and links to our social media campaign to encourage more young people to consider this profession,” said Matthew Heskett, Manager Skills and Education with the QRC.

South32’s Vice President Operations Cannington Joe Russell said he hoped students would be inspired by being able to speak directly to South32’s professionals, who will share their mining experience.

“There’s nothing like hearing from people who are passionate about their careers to stimulate interest in young minds and help them understand how it’s possible to transition from school, to university and the workforce,” he said.

Thuringowa State High School Principal Kaylene Mladenovic said the curriculum-based workshops also helped the students relate their school work to the real world.

“This can often create those ‘light-bulb’ moments of understanding and can really encourage students to step up their interest in science technology engineering and maths (STEM) subjects,” she said.

The students will explore the life cycle of a mine with a focus on engineering, from extraction, to production and processing to rehabilitation.

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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