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Gladstone STEM Robotics Competition 2021

QAL and Rio Tinto Yarwun employees have shared their expertise with school students at the CQ Gladstone District STEM’s 2021 Robotics Competition that was hosted by Clinton State School.

The competition was a fantastic opportunity for students from across the Gladstone Region to participate in a growth focus STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) activity with links to real-world processes in local industry. More than 160 students from 10 schools participated in this year’s event.

The competition is a partnership between state schools in the region and industry supporters Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) and Rio Tinto Yarwun Operations. STEM mentors from QAL and Rio Tinto have been integral in designing the robotics challenges, to mirror processes which take place at their local industrial sites. The professional mentors also help during the competition by providing students feedback as judges of the digital solutions and by guiding students to solve problems.

This event has been very popular since its inception in 2016.  Last year the event was successfully run in a virtual format to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions. This year, students were very excited to get back together in a physical space to enjoy the exciting and collaborative atmosphere and improve their STEM skills, knowledge and capability.

The students were presented with two divisions of challenges with varying levels of difficulty; both divisions involved designing, constructing and programming an autonomous robot to navigate a pathway as quickly as possible while overcoming or avoiding obstacles in the pathway.

The concept and design for this challenge were completed by the CQ Gladstone District STEM Cluster leadership team: Carol Devney, Mirrin Rashleigh and Tracey Dunnett, in conjunction with engineers Sam Eborn and Russell Stewart from Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) and Rod Burge from Rio Tinto Yarwun.

The 2021 competition was led by Carol Devney and Julie Hunt (Gladstone State High School), Mirrin Rashleigh (Gladstone West State School), and Tracey Dunnett (Clinton State School).

Enquiries about the STEM Gladstone cluster are to be directed to Michael Hurst, Principal, Boyne Island State School:

Venue: Clinton State School Hall

Media Contact: Carol Devney – CQ Gladstone District STEM Cluster Leader

Phone: w: 07 4976 6111     Email:








Community news Event Posted 17/6/2021