Contact innovator

Jonathan Nalder (STEM Punks)
We inspire tomorrow’s innovators to ask ‘why’ & design real world, human-focused solutions for all. Created by Teachers, STEM Experts & Kids

STEM Punks

location_on Australia
STEM Punks innovation is: Fusing STEM & traditional education with the human-focused & student-energising problem solving of 'Design Thinking' >by 1. Giving kids nurturing 'Innovation Sports' Clubs to demonstrate their design skills + collaborate 2. Delivering the needed skills & experiences via face to face OR online workshops (live or on-demand) 3. shows for ongoing inspiration
Jonathan Nalder, STEM Punks Futures Learning Coach; HundrEd Advisor and Ambassador
Kids are the most human among us, and deserve every chance to be inspired and then design tomorrow.

Jonathan Nalder, STEM Punks Futures Learning Coach; HundrEd Advisor and Ambassador


HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.
Key figures

Innovation Overview

Target Group
13 000
Updated on August 9th, 2022
about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

STEM Punks was co-founded in 2016 by Damien Aldridge, a Teacher heart-broken by the lack of innovation in formal schooling, & Michael Holmstrom, an Engineer who wanted to inspire future innovators. Out of this combo & with the addition of new team was born the desire to add a missing ingredient to Education - a playful, punky, ‘always ask why’, human focus that gives STEM its reason for existing.

How does your innovation work in practice?

Instead of focusing on just tech, dry science content, and lessons disconnected from life, STEM Punks programs create real-world, human activities where students learn STEM skills not to pass a subject, but as a natural consequence of their passions.
This sees young people first choose themes such as Future Cities, Ocean Cleanup, Space, Treasure Maps and Smart Gardens. Only later after immersing themselves & learning about the Design Thinking process do they also learn the technical and content skills such as coding, physics, biology and maths required to create a successful solution for their communities.

All of this comes together via Innovation Sports Clubs where Minecraft is the build tool for prototyping new solutions. And then comes - free TV shows to inspire ongoing success.

STEM Punks has distinguished itself especially in the COVID era by offering hybrid programs that can blend online, live, face to face and asynchronous experiences as well as AR and VR.

How has it been spreading?

STEM Punks is now joined by a growing team of expert Educators such as Jonathan Nalder and Paula Noe in Austin, Texas. It has won numerous awards, worked with over 1000+ schools and delivered experiences for kids from over 15 countries so far. Online classes have now expanded to 30 offerings, many of which tap into projects such as those at Hi-SEAS Moon and Mars base, and the LING Project in Ghana. STEM Punks TV has grown to 55 total episodes.
The fastest spread however has been with Innovation Sports Clubs - with 100 established at schools and libraries in the first year of this program alone.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Check out what an Innovation Sports Competition looks like here

Enjoy our TV shows that fuse STEM and Design Thinking at

View our classes at

Join our Teacher community at


Achievements & Awards

July 2021
FAST COMPANY World Changing Ideas
July 2021
Winner, 2021 STEVIE Awards
July 2021
Global Teacher Award: Damien Aldridge
June 2021
Best Online Classes - Whats On For Kids Awards
January 2021
BIG Global Innovation Award
November 2020
Global Education Influencers 2020
September 2020
Gold, Silver and Bronze Mumpreneur Awards
July 2019
Australian Business Awards Finalist
July 2019
Telstra Business Awards Winner

Spread of the innovation

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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Choose a fun theme
STEM Punks puts playful problem solving that connects to real-world problems first. To get started, browse our huge range of themes and select the one that connects for you or your kids.
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