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An up close and personal tour of Bowen’s North Queensland Export Terminal (NQXT) is helping local high school students solve supply-chain challenges in a classroom setting.

More than two dozen Grade 7 students from Bowen State High School went behind the scenes of NQXT to see firsthand how the multi-user facility helps nine different companies export metallurgical and thermal coal from 13 mines in the Bowen and Galilee basins to international markets.

The students, guided by Abbot Point Operations (APO) which manages operations at NQXT, used the inner workings of the coal export terminal to understand real world application and function of complex logistics systems – before enjoying a free ‘shower’ courtesy of the firefighting system on one of the Engage Marine tugboats that brings ships safely to and from the Terminal.

Afterwards the students applied these learnings at a workshop delivered by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy, the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council.

APO General Manager Allan Brown said the team was delighted to show the students how the intricacies of running a coal export terminal could be represented mathematically.

“Port environments offer a range of exciting roles, and our people have skills across the disciplines needed to unload trains and load ships, maintain our equipment, keep those working in our business safe, and care for our beautiful natural environment that surrounds the Terminal and the nearby wetlands,” Mr Brown said.

“We invest heavily in providing employment pathways for local people so it’s wonderful to be able to show the next generation real-world application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and encourage them to pursue a career in that field.”

Bowen State High School Acting Principal Stephen Baskerville said the perspective of professionals working in the industry benefited the students when they considered their education pathway.

“Students are always fascinated to see how STEM fundamentals are applied in an industry that operates continuously in their own backyard but is also an essential component of a global logistics network,” Mr Baskerville said.

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