”Mining classroom” gives new meaning to hands-on learning for Tieri State School students

27 Aug 2019

What do you do when you can’t take students to see underground mining equipment in action? Take the equipment to the students, of course. That’s exactly what Glencore’s Oaky Creek coal mining team did recently with Tieri State School.

Using Komatsu’s generous offer of their mobile simulator, the Oaky team were able to give students at the central Queensland township a chance to not only see the equipment in action but to drive it themselves!

The majority of students at the school have parents who work in the Oaky North underground coal operation, so the site was keen to provide the children with an opportunity to see how the mine operates and to learn about the equipment used.

“Thanks to Komatsu, we were able to provide the students with an amazing learning experience,” Oaky’s Engineering Projects Co-ordinator, Brian Carlton, said. “Over 50 students got to step into a ‘mining classroom’, watch a video that showed the mine in operation, and then have a chance to drive the various pieces of equipment.”

The exercise adds an exciting new dimension to the work done through various programs to encourage more children in regional Queensland schools to take up STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.

Glencore is a major supporter of the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), a partnership between the Queensland Government and the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) which provides a talent pipeline of work ready employees into the resources sector.

Tieri State School Acting Principal, Susan Spackman, said the exercise had helped kick-start a new study program at the school.

“As mining encompasses such an integral part of our lives here in Tieri, the collaboration between Tieri State School, Glencore and Komatsu gave our students an incredible experience,” Susan said.

“The timing of the exercise was also important, as we are just beginning a STEM program that continues this type of education for the students.”

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