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Kent Street High School – Curtin University Mining Challenge

AIG WA Branch committee members were involved in the Kent Street High School (Perth WA) – Curtin University Mining Challenge, held last week, for the second consecutive year.

A collaboration between these two education institutions, the initiative is aimed at creating resources industry career awareness amongst primary school students. Ultimately, the Mining Challenge provides recognition for a mining based educational pathway for the primary school students to pursue as they transition firstly into secondary education at Kent Street and then progress on to Curtin for undergraduate studies at the Western Australian School of Mines.

Both Kent Street and Curtin are renowned for their resources education throughout Western Australia.  Each year, up to half of Kent Street’s Earth and Environmental Science class progress to Curtin to pursue either geoscience, mining engineering or metallurgy degrees.

The event theme was “You need to find it to mine it”.   The challenge involves 180 primary school students from six local primary schools who are mentored, led and managed by Year 9 Kent Street students to compete in a series of mining activities.  It is a huge day for both the students and the judges.  The winning school receives $1000  of scientific based Lego and both female and male miners and mine managers are also rewarded.  The AIG judges are responsible for awarding points related to team work, construction and environmental awareness.

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Getting ready to process the ore. Year 9 mentor – Devika is rallying the Victoria Park Primary school students to get ready for the next challenge. Victoria Park Primary won the event by 0.5 point from Gibb Street Primary School.

Four AIG WA committee members and two other AIG members, geologists Peter Pring and Michael Outhwaite, were involved in the coordination and judging of the event.  Myself, a teacher and geologist from Kent Street, worked with the Curtin contingent of which Sam, a 3rd year Applied Geology student from Curtin University, was one to organise the day.  Heather and Mike, who are also AIG Councillors, both volunteered their time to judge.

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Four of the event judges:  Mike Curtis, Suzy Urbaniak, Samantha Murray and Heather Carey.  The other judges were Michael Outhwaite & Peter Pring.

Resources Outreach to school students is an important activity for AIG’s WA Branch.   Historically, AIG WA’s support of Kent Street Geoscience has positively resulted in the generation of young resources graduates and this Mining Challenge further cements our commitment to education.  A much needed sustainable approach, this strategy ensures that our industry can draw on home-skilled talent beyond 2020.

Suzy Urbaniak

AIG WA Branch Chairperson and Teacher at Kent St High School

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