Rio Tinto teams up with Murdoch University on STEM roadshow for regional students

25 July 2017

Rio Tinto has teamed up with Western Australia’s Murdoch University to support an outreach programme for regional high schools, as part of a joint initiative to boost student engagement in science-based subjects.

Rio Tinto has renewed its support for the exciting roadshow with increased funds to run workshops for students discovering where Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects can take them in their careers.

The three year partnership extension will kick off next week when Murdoch University chemistry experts take their fiery demonstrations to local schools in the South West.

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 hands-on activities that demonstrate real-life 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," Linda said.

The initiative developed by Murdoch University’s 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.

Regional students who have taken part in previous workshops were more likely to study STEM courses at university.

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 programme (2012-2016).

"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.

"Expanding the minds of regional high school students as they explore metallurgy, bioinformatics and 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," Professor Taggart said.

Murdoch will visit seven schools in Bunbury, Busselton, Australind and Manjimup from 24 to 28 July.