Jonathan Nalder, STEM Punks Futures Learning Coach; HundrEd Advisor and Ambassador
HundrED shortlisted this 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 these values in formal schooling, Michael Holmstrom, an Engineer and Entrepreneur who wanted to inspire future innovators - out of this combo was born the desire to add the 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 their actual lives, STEM Punks programs have differentiated themselves firstly by their philosophy of real-world, human-focused learning where students learn STEM skills not to pass a subject, but as a natural consequence of their passions.
Instead of learning coding for its own sake, with STEM Punks, young people first choose themes such as Future Cities, Ocean Cleanup, Space Habitats, Treasure Maps and Smart Gardens first. Only later after immersing themselves in these areas and learning about the Design Thinking process do they also learn the technical and content skills such as coding, physics, biology, technology and maths required to create a successful solution for their communities.
STEM Punks has distinguished itself especially in the COVID-19 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 14 countries so far. Online classes have now expanded to 25 offerings, many of which tap into projects such as those at Hi-SEAS Moon and Mars base, and the LING Project in Ghana.
If I want to try it, what should I do?
View our videos to see what this looks like in practice > https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFwc043RBSRVfonaClOZ9Mg
View our classes at STEMPunks.com
Join our Teacher community at https://www.facebook.com/groups/stempunksteachers