Science teachers across the Pilbara will be given resource sector-specific training as part of a new initiative aiming to equip them with relevant and current industry knowledge.

The Teacher in Industry Placements program forms part of the Pilbara Collaboration — a partnership between The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA and the State Government — and is being piloted with Karratha Senior High School.

CME Chief Executive Paul Everingham said CITIC Pacific Mining, Rio Tinto, Woodside and Yara Pilbara would be the first collaboration partners to host high school science teachers at their operations.

“This is a great opportunity for the resources sector to provide exposure to our operations, as well as effective and engaging teacher professional development,” he said.

KSHS Science Teacher Belinda Jenkinson was the first teacher to participate in the program, spending two days at CPM’s Sino Iron magnetite operation last week.

She learnt about the company’s 51 gigalitre desalination plant at Cape Preston and was taught about the reverse-osmosis technology and filtration system, where salt and impurities are removed; and the various chemical processes involved.

Karratha Senior High School Acting Principal Ashley Eversden said the school was excited about the opportunities the initiative offered staff and students.

“Working alongside local industry allows teachers to access industry placements, they take their experiences into the classroom and develop links with student learning and contemporary industry practices,” he said.

Lessons learnt from both industry and KSHS will be shared, with the aim of rolling out across other high schools in the region.