Careers for best of the best
Blackwater students get a taste of the digital future of mining.
Thursday 24 November 2016
TEACHERS from Blackwater State High will head to Brisbane prior Christmas to participate in a Queensland Minerals, and Energy Academy (QMEA) workshop on how best to implement the new digital technologies curriculum that is being rolled out in Queensland schools next year.
The aim of the digital technologies syllabus is to ensure that all students can create, manage and evaluate sustainable and innovative digital solutions, in the existing science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) study areas.
However, according to Tammy Grady Senior Project Officer with the QMEA, there is some confusion among teachers about how this will be best achieved.
“The aim is to hold a professional development day focussing on the new digital technologies curriculum,” she told the Blackwater Review.
“Some schools are at a loss as to how best to implement the curriculum into their existing learning.
“This year, in conjunction with our affiliated schools we have developed a centre of excellence for digital technologies, so we think we can help our member schools implement the new curriculum successfully.”
The visit to Brisbane builds on a workshop in Blackwater recently where high achieving year nine students had the opportunity to participate in an “Expand your mind” education day designed by the QMEA.
The day was broken up into three study elements that mirrored the sort of processes you will see on a mine site. In the first element, students had to program a robotic dump truck, in the second they had to complete a chemical processing challenge, and in the third, they had to design and deliver a small engineering project - which in this case was a twenty cent coin launcher.
“We had students attending from Emerald, Blackwater and North Rockhampton,” Ms Grady said.
"And it was particularly well supported by industry with eight representatives from BMA, Jellinbah, and Wesfarmers Curragh, who mentored the students.
“There were a lot of challenges designed around what you might find on a mine site, and the kids did really well.
“Even the Industry reps couldn’t help themselves from getting involved with the design of the coin launcher, but the kids gave them a really good run for their money.
“I think the message from our sponsors and the Resources Council, is that despite the cycles in mining, the industry is always looking for the best of the best.
“And by exposing the students to these real-world practices through the QMEA, they are much more advanced when they are competing for jobs later in life.
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