Rekindling regional Queensland students’ enthusiasm for science, maths, engineering and technology is at the heart of a new $400,000 schools program funded by leading coal seam gas (CSG) companies.
Australia Pacific LNG, QGC, Arrow Energy and Santos GLNG have each contributed $100,000 to fund the CSG Industry Schools Program, which will be delivered this year by the Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment.
The Schools Program aims to raise the profile and interest in science, mathematics, engineering and technology in 35 state schools and six independent schools throughout the Surat Basin from Dalby to Roma and surrounding communities.
The program involves students working together in a science-based school research project, culminating in an all-schools science conference and competition in Toowoomba.
Postgraduate research students and industry ambassadors, young technologists and engineers will visit schools to help students with their research project, while university specialists will stage science demonstrations at participating schools.
Education programs and activities have been developed in three key areas:
- For Years 6, 7, 8 and 9 – encourage awareness and interest in science.
- For Years 9 and 10 – encourage students to consider science, technology, engineering and maths careers when making important subject choices.
- For Years 11 and 12 – pathways into further study and the CSG industry.
Speaking on behalf of the four companies, Australia Pacific LNG Chief Executive Officer Page Maxson said an early interest in science, maths and related fields opens doors to many rewarding careers and opportunities.
“Young people with an interest and aptitude for science, maths and technology will help to understand and shape the world of tomorrow, and Australia needs skilled and talented people to work in a whole variety of industries,” Mr Maxson said.
“Through the Schools Program we can start working with young people from communities in regional areas, where we can provide career rewarding career opportunities close to home.”
“As an example, the Queensland liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry is creating a new longterm export industry which will drive demand for highly-skilled science-based jobs for the next 30 years.”
The Department will appoint a project officer who will be responsible for delivering the Schools Program in 2013, including contact with schools, arranging science “ambassador” visits, and organising the science conference and competition.