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Innovation on show at national STEM championships

11 November 2022

Click here for photos – STEM Innovation Experience Regional Showcase

Click here for photos – STEM Innovation Experience National Final

An elite group of six students from central Queensland recently competed in the STEM Innovation Experience (STEMIE) National Final in Adelaide, South Australia.

The Year 10 students from Moranbah State High School were awarded the Queensland title at the STEMIE Regional Showcase, held at the Resources Centre of Excellence (Mackay) in October 2022 earning them a place in the National Final on 10 November.

The students from Moranbah SHS harnessed their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills to complete a portfolio of challenges linked to the theme “Revolutionary Resources” including investigating metal chemistry and the periodic table, creating underground transport devices, mathematically modelling future energy needs and developing a digital device to automatically detect hazards in an underground mine.

The event is an expansion of an already successful program run by the University of South Australia and in collaboration with Australian Resources Industry Skills and Education (ARISE) and supported by BHP, the program expanded beyond South Australian borders for the first time in 2022.

ARISE Manager of Skills and Education Matthew Heskett said that he was excited to see that the students hard work was rewarded. “This is the first time STEMIE has been held outside of South Australia and we were blown away at the standard of work that the students from Moranbah SHS were able to produce.”

“The group of Year 10 students from Moranbah were very competitive in the unseen challenges at the national final and were awarded fourth place for their efforts,” Matthew said. “The unseen challenges tested their coding, mathematical modelling, engineering and chemistry skills in a series of activities similar to a giant STEM escape room.”

“It was great to see that the first four places at the national final were awarded to regional schools as it shows that they are able to match it with their metropolitan-based counterparts.”

While in Adelaide, the students and their teachers were also able to experience other local opportunities, including visiting the four Adelaide-based University of South Australia campuses, along with a guided tour of MoD. – the Museum of Discovery, based at the University of South Australia’s City West campus.

The STEMIE National Final places were:

  1. Mount Gambier High School
  2. Samaritan College, Whyalla
  3. Port Augusta Secondary School
  4. Moranbah State High School, Queensland
  5. The Heights School, Adelaide
  6. Plympton International College, Adelaide

The Australian Resources Industry Skills and Education (ARISE) Initiative was established to broaden the geographic reach of the highly successful industry-led education and skills training initiative, QMEA, in states and territories across Australia. 

The initiative encourages secondary school students into STEM-related careers in the resources sector, with a focus on female and Indigenous participation. The initiative is made possible through the support of foundation partners, BHP and BMA, and provides students and teachers the opportunity to experience the resources sector operations through on-site and in-school activities, flagship camps, and scholarships.

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