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STEM Punks

location_on Australia

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

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. STEMPunks.tv shows for ongoing inspiration

HundrED 2023
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Overview

HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED Global Collection 2023

Web presence

2016

Established

13K

Children/users

15

Countries
Organisation
For-profit
Target group
All
Updated
January 12th, 2023
Kids are the most human among us, and deserve every chance to be inspired and then design tomorrow.

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 STEMPunks.tv - 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 https://vimeo.com/710570142

Enjoy our TV shows that fuse STEM and Design Thinking at https://stempunks.tv

View our classes at STEMPunks.com

Join our Teacher community at https://www.facebook.com/groups/stempunksteachers

Impact & scalability

HundrED Academy Reviews
This innovation has been broadly transferred to different contexts around the world, and it has been internationally recognised and awarded. Not only these methods could be used on a STEM basis, but they should or even must be used in other disciplines.
This innovation prepares children through STEM to be able to develop XXI century soft skills, like creativity or problem-solving. The importance that they place on failure, the environment and a learning-by-doing methodology is crucial.
- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process

Implementation steps

Choose a fun theme

Go here to browse our many real-world STEAM themes: https://www.stempunks.com/courses

Spread of the innovation

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