STEMming the Tide

We need more people in STEM subjects, especially girls!

Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, (STEM) are all subjects that are traditionally dominated by boys.

In an effort to buck the trend, Central hosted an interactive ‘Girls in STEM’ Open Day followed by a general STEM Open Day on the 19/20 June at the GreenSkills Centre in East Perth.

Year 10 and 11 girls from across the state answered the call.  Over fifty girls descended on East Perth from places as far and wide as Pinjarra and Lesmurdie, including indigenous girls from the Follow The Dream program.

This year’s program was co-funded by the Department of Education and the Schools Pathway program and built on a solid showing last year.

The open days showcased the diverse range of career options available through STEM pathways and helped smash the stereotype that STEM subjects are a ‘boy thing’.

The days were structured to give participants a chance to try their hand at a little bit of everything. The girls were divided into five groups and rotated through activities for five different STEM pathways including building, science, engineering, resources and IT.

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Every activity featured a female STEM ambassador from Central to both answer questions and illustrate the opportunities STEM skills can lead to.

With STEM skills in increasingly high demand as business and governments look to adapt new technologies, innovations and solutions to create jobs, events such as this show potential students the vast career potential in this field.

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Schools dig Get into Mining

On 27-28 June 2013 Central hosted ‘Get Into Mining’, our annual interactive mining careers Expo for high school children. This voluntary initiative first started in 2012 and was the brainchild of Meryl Jones, mother of two and geologist at St Barbara Limited.

Meryl wanted to provide an opportunity for her boys to see what jobs are available in mining and resources to help them make the right choices for their future education should they choose a career in the field.

This is a unique and much needed forum for high school children, giving them the chance to have face to face conversations with mining industry professionals, while also having a go at practical, hands-on activities. These sorts of opportunities are not often available through the educational curriculum and many mining professionals wish they could provide kids with an opportunity to understand what mining is about, without the preconceptions that  pervade most news reporting on the subject.

About the event

The event ran over two days with a ‘Girl’s day’ and a ‘Boy’s day’ with high schools from right across WA sending coach loads of students to Central for a taste of the industry.

The event draws on volunteer mining industry professionals and tradespeople to showcase what they do for a living at a level that can be appreciated by the students, mostly from Year 10.

Approximately 300 high school students participated in interactive activities aimed at helping them develop a preliminary understanding of: geology; underground metallurgy; environmental science; safety; hydrogeology; geophysics; geochemistry; various trades and HR/admin (CV writing). All students had a chance to tour The CUT Mine – Central’s amazing simulated underground mine.

Both days kicked-off with keynote presentations involving two of WA’s most inspirational mining leaders: Julie Shuttleworth (Metallurgist & Mine General Manager, Barrick) and Alastair Croll (Chief Operating Officer, St Barbara Ltd). Both talks highlighted the many positive aspects of a mining career such as international travel and adventure.

The Expo featured stands from the Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy,  Department of Mines & Petroleum – Resources Safety, Australian Institute of Geoscientists, Chamber of Minerals & Energy, Curtin University, University of WA, CCI (a Trade Association), Goldfields Education Mining Industry Alliance (GEMIA) and Central itself.  The helpful volunteers at each booth enjoying this great oportunity to explain what their respective organisations bring to the industry.