It’s clean, it’s green and can’t be seen, but students at Gladstone State High School will learn today that hydrogen, the new kid on the block of low-emissions energy, is likely to play an important role in powering homes and industry in the years ahead.
They’ll be on the ground floor with new hydrogen fuel technologies when they build their own mini-hydrogen fuel cell cars in a hands-on workshop conducted by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
Sponsored by the Australian Gas Industry Trust, (AGIT), the students will be challenged to design a customised mini vehicle using hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Industry representatives from Origin Energy will dial into the workshop and share information on their careers and roles within Origin Energy – Future Fuels.
Teachers won’t be left out of the equation either with a new workshop customised for them. As part of this, participants will be given tips on utilising a suite of hydrogen educational resources developed to link with the Australian curriculum.
Dr Jen Thompson, AGIT’s Executive Officer said new hydrogen industries were tipped to create more than 7,000 new, highly-skilled high-tech jobs in Queensland by 2040, many of these in regional Queensland.
“This is why it’s important to inform students and their teachers of this new industry, and the career opportunities it might offer,” she said.
“It’s especially important for Gladstone students with the city gearing up to be the state’s hydrogen hub,” said Katrina-Lee Jones, Director Skills and Education with the QRC.
“One of the world’s largest hydrogen equipment manufacturing facilities is planned for Gladstone as part of a new partnership between the Queensland Government and renewable energy and hydrogen company Fortescue Future Industries.”
Acting Principal of Gladstone State High School Dave Romagnolo said the workshop was timely given the Premier’s recent announcement of a $2 million grant for training facilities targeted at the hydrogen industry for the school.
“It’s very helpful that this workshop is linked to the science of hydrogen and its use as a clean energy source within the Australian Curriculum for students in years 9 and 10," he said.
“Bringing their classroom work to life in a real-world context is extremely effective in encouraging students and enhancing their learning experiences.
“It’s also very beneficial for the students to meet industry people and learn about their careers to help them with decisions on career choices.”
As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and skills training initiative, the QMEA seeks to broaden student and teacher knowledge of career opportunities in resources.
The academy encourages a talent pipeline of employees into VET and STEM-related careers, with a focus on female and Indigenous participation. The QMEA currently engages with 80 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.
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