Rio Tinto fires up STEM subjects at WA schools with Murdoch University

Rio Tinto has teamed up with Murdoch University to support a STEM Outreach Programme for regional Western Australian high schools, as part of a joint initiative to boost student engagement in science-­based subjects.

The mining company has renewed its support of the roadshow by increasing funds to run workshops for students explaining where science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects can take them in their careers.

The three-year partnership extension kicks off when Murdoch University chemistry experts take their fiery demonstrations to schools in the state’s South West region.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore general manager communities Linda Dawson said: “We are proud to continue our partnership with Murdoch University, which will see students, schools and educators across the state engage in hands­on activities that demonstrate real­life applications of STEM skills.

“To enable our company to supply the metals and minerals that help the world continually develop, we need to invest in ensuring the future workforce has the interest and capability to pursue their STEM learning and career goals.”

The initiative, developed by the School of Engineering and Information Technology, inspires interest in extractive metallurgy, which is critical to the state’s future prosperity, with participants encouraged to release hidden secrets from copper ore.

Murdoch University provost professor Andrew Taggart said he was delighted that Rio Tinto had extended the partnership following positive results from the first phase of the program.

“It is estimated that 70 per cent of future jobs will be STEM related and these will be the key to sustaining Western Australia’s economic growth and development,” Taggart said.

“Expanding the minds of regional high school students as they explore metallurgy, big data and the dynamic career possibilities these offer, is vitally important.

“Murdoch University is committed to working with industry – and using our extensive research and teaching expertise – to develop innovative solutions to economic challenges that create jobs.”

Murdoch is visiting seven schools in Bunbury, Busselton, Australind and Manjimup this week.

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