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Community STEM Hub opens at CQUni Gladstone

Published:24 August 2018

STEM Central highlights: 1. Graham Johnston (Gladstone Facility Manager - ConocoPhillips), CQUni’s Dr Linda Pfeiffer and Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman. 2. Professor Scott Bowman, Dr Linda Pfeiffer, Graham Johnston (Gladstone Facility Manager - ConocoPhillips) and Robert Gibb (Community Relations Manager - ConocoPhillips). 3. Robert Gibb (Community Relations Manager ConocoPhillips) Fiona McLeod (GM Govt and External Affairs - ConocoPhillips), CQUni Chancellor John Abbott. 4. and 5. - images of the new facility.

The new Australia Pacific LNG STEM Central hub was officially opened at the CQUniversity Gladstone Marina campus this week.

The state-of-the-art facility will provide the local community with a central hub to explore and participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The development of this facility forms part of a broader three-year, $550 000 agreement between CQUniversity and ConocoPhillips, as the downstream operator of Australia Pacific LNG.

CQUniversity’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Scott Bowman said that he was delighted to be on hand to open the new facility and hopes that it will encourage the local community to engage in STEM.

“It is great to officially open this fantastic facility today,” Professor Bowman said.

“It is the result of a shared commitment from CQUniversity and ConocoPhillips, as the downstream operator of Australia Pacific LNG, to improve community engagement in STEM subjects.

“This facility provides the community with an engaging space equipped with specialist science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) educational resources to engage the Gladstone community in hands-on STEM experiences,” said Professor Bowman.

“Through this facility, we have a goal to proactively address the growing need for STEM education and skills.

“Over a three-year period, this will foster and enable the growth of STEM capacity, so local people have the confidence and interest to acquire the STEM skills they need to nurture their community and achieve global competitiveness.”

Wendy King, President ConocoPhillips Australia East, the downstream operator of Australia Pacific LNG, said the investment will provide ongoing education support to the community in an increasingly technology-focused future.

“ConocoPhillips, as the downstream operator of Australia Pacific LNG, has a rich legacy of supporting STEM education in the region and this facility highlights our continued commitment to STEM.

“STEM Central is designed for the whole community and will enable the growth of STEM capacity in the region. Gladstone is perfectly placed to take advantage of this facility because of its focus on industry, innovation and as a recognised technical training location,” Ms King said.

As well has being open to the public, Australia Pacific LNG STEM Central will also be heavily utilised by school groups and for the professional development and upskilling of teachers.

CQUniversity’s Australia Pacific LNG STEM Project Lead, Dr Linda Pfeiffer says the Australia Pacific LNG STEM Central hub will be used by local teachers for professional development on how to embed STEM into the primary classroom.

“The facility will also be used by community groups including Indigenous groups, seniors, youth, early years, disability services, multicultural and many more,” Dr Pfeiffer says.

“The facility is a state-of-the art resource for the Gladstone region to enhance understanding of STEM in everyday life and I expect it will attract national and even international attention.”