Drones take flight in Capella

15 June 2017

The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) and Glencore Coal have joined forces in central Queensland to deliver drone technology to students at Capella State High School.

More than 30 year 7 students are destined to become physicists for a day through a Physics in Flight lesson and see first-hand how drones are improving safety and boosting productivity in the resources sector with the help of local training provider ‘Red Dirt Drones’.

Glencore Coal’s Community Relations Manager Craig Strudwick said encouraging students to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects is an important step in supporting local communities.

“It’s paramount the resources sector backs skills development and education in regional Queensland communities which will help to provide a pathway to fulfilling career options,” Mr Strudwick said.

“The Physics in Flight program aims to encourage study in STEM, which are essential to careers in the fields of mechanics, engineering and environmental science.

“By supporting the QMEA program, we believe we’ll see some of these students working in the resources sector in the years ahead and possibly with Glencore.”

QRC Skills, Education and Diversity Director Katrina-Lee Jones said the program had a practical approach to physics and the students took part in a range of interesting activities.

“The students see first-hand the endless possibilities of physics and the joy of science to encourage their minds to think differently and hopefully pursue further study in secondary school in STEM subjects,” Ms Jones said.

“This program was in response to calls from school principals who wanted to inspire and motivate students to experience the fun of science in a practical way.”

Capella State High School Principal Jacqui Sinclair said the school recently partnered with QMEA and was looking forward to its first program.

“By working with the QMEA, our students will exhibit practical examples in science and technology, which both play an important role in many of the local industries such as mining and agriculture,” Ms Sinclair said.

Not to confine this experience to one location, this activity will also be duplicated at Clermont State High School in coming weeks.

QMEA is the education and skills arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and is tasked with providing pathways for students into the resources sector. It is a partnership between the resources sector and government through the Gateway to Industry Schools Program.

Photos available on request.

Media contacts: Anthony Donaghy 0412 450 360 & Angela Harper 0414 712 605