New program puts WA kids in driver's seat for future jobs

Published on 27 November 2019

The State government have launched a new innovative pilot program to equip WA students with the skills and knowledge they need for the jobs of the future.

The Resources Challenge: Automation pilot will give students in Year 5 and 6 'hands-on' classroom experience in the field of automation, and increase the student awareness of careers in the technology and resources sector.

Students will undertake a series of challenges designed to educate them about real-world applications of digital technologies in industry, focusing on automation in the resources sector.

For example, in the first challenge, students will program autonomous trucks, blast drillers, drones and autonomous underwater vehicles. The Challenge will be delivered online using the Grok Learning platform, with equipment such as robots, micro:bits and other course materials.

The program will initially be rolled out at schools in the Pilbara from Term 1, 2020. If successful, the program could potentially be rolled out to other parts of Western Australia.

The Challenge program is a collaboration between the Chamber of Minerals and Energy Western Australia and the Pilbara Collaboration Charter - a partnership between BHP, Chevron Australia, CITIC Pacific Mining, Fortescue Metals, Rio Tinto Iron Ore, Roy Hill, Woodside, Yara Pilbara and the State government.

It was developed in consultation with experts in different fields in the resources sector.

A group of students involved in the pilot attended the Resources Technology Showcase and are among more than 6000 school students and participants who will have the rare opportunity to network with industry representatives who are creating the jobs of tomorrow.