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Inspiring young Queensland minds

Queensland Museum. Source: www.aseanjournal.com.

Queensland Museum Media Release, $3.95 Million Partnership Advancing Next Generation of Education, 18 June 2015

Young Queensland minds will be inspired to aim high in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) with the support of a $3.95 million partnership announced today between natural gas producer QGC and the Queensland Museum Network.

Minister for Science and Innovation Leanne Enoch MP officially launched the partnership, which aims to create a whole-of-life approach to STEM education.

Ms Enoch said the partnership responds to national evidence showing the rate of Australian school students participating in STEM subjects has significantly declined.

“As we continue to transition Queensland’s economy for the future, the sciences are going to play an increasingly important role. One of the biggest challenges the sector faces is encouraging young people to choose a career pathway in STEM,” she said.

“This pathway doesn’t start at university, we need to be nurturing it from a young age, which is one reason this partnership is such great news for Queensland.”

The partnership will involve direct programs in schools from Prep to Year 12, teacher professional development, an academic research program, and community engagement initiatives.

Ms Enoch also announced today the partnership will bring to Brisbane ‘Collider: step inside the world’s greatest experiment’, the renowned Hadron Collider Exhibition from the Science Museum, London.

Queensland Museum Network CEO and Director, Professor Suzanne Miller, said the classroom programs have been piloted over the past six months with students in years 6 and 9 in schools in Chinchilla, Brisbane and Gladstone.

“The pilot has focused on earth sciences in line with the national curriculum and has injected learning strategies which encourage new thinking, investigation and team work,” Professor Miller said.

“Through this partnership we are making accessible an enormous range of resources and artefacts from the Queensland Museums collections either physically or in virtual form to add to the learning experience.  We are also able to provide access to industry professionals from both QGC and the Queensland Museum who offer real life examples of how a passion for science and technology can develop into exciting and rewarding careers.”

QGC Managing Director, Mr Mitch Ingram said that as the world’s first operation to produce LNG from natural gas in coal seams, QGC values the importance of education in generating local skills and expertise.

“Part of the legacy we aim to develop as a company is to build capability in Queensland to inspire future innovation and industrial development,” Mr Ingram said.

“Our partnership with the Queensland Museum is essential to this and will also help in building pathways to employment within our industry for young people in the regions where we operate.”

The award winning Collider Exhibition recreates the largest scientific experiment ever constructed.  Buried deep under the border between Switzerland and France, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is the work of 10,000 men and women from across the globe, united in their quest to uncover the fundamental building blocks of our universe.

It was at the Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland in 2012 that the Higgs boson, or God particle, was discovered, capturing the public’s imagination like few other scientific endeavours of the past 50 years.

Media Contacts:
Minister Enoch: Tim Shipstone – 0419 246 157
Queensland Museum: Sarah McCormack – 0434 565 852

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