Summer Series: STEM Education in our Smart Communities, with Michael Holmstrom

Summer Series: STEM Education in our Smart Communities, with Michael Holmstrom

By Zoe Eather

Hi #smartcommunity friends! Welcome to the Summer Series here on the Smart Community Podcast. We’re taking a little break from new content over the Australian summer holidays, and instead we are sharing the replays of a few of our all time favourite episodes. This week we’re sharing my interview with Michael Holmstrom, from way back in episode 201, which was released in November of 2020.

In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, I have a great chat with Michael Holstrom, the CEO of STEM Punks (and that’s STEM as in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths.) STEM Punks provides immersive STEM programs for students and teachers from grade 1 to 12 and through their programs, enables creative and entrepreneurial thinking to inspire tomorrow's innovators.

In this episode Michael and I discuss his background as an engineer and in technology commercialisation and startup development, as well as what sparked his interest in the Smart Community concept. Michael then explains how STEM Punks came to be and why the real world application of STEM skills is so important, not just learning to code in isolation.

We share our thoughts on buzzwords and acronyms, like STEAM, but why STEM is the foundation. Michael tells us what STEM punks does in both the education and home market and how they’ve shifted in 2020 with COVID accelerating their shift to online delivery. We discuss technology as an enabler for humans, the importance of lifelong learning and the mindset shifts we need in order to think more holistically and change the narrative of what STEM is.

We finish our chat discussing the emerging trend of AI and the ethical and philosophical conversations that are needed now that the technology is here, as well as Michael’s favourite resources.

We will be sure to get Michael back on the show in future for a full update about what he has been up to since we recorded this episode and how our thinking has progressed since our conversation. But in the meantime, as always we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it!

Find the full show notes at:

Connect with Michael via LinkedIn or at

Connect with me via email:

Connect with My Smart Community via LinkedIn or Twitter and watch on YouTube

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Perk Digital.

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