STEMiverse 0033 - Tim Mendham

March 7, 2018

Welcome to STEMiverse Podcast episode 33!

In this episode, Peter and Marcus talk with Tim Mendham!

Tim is a Freelance journalist, editor, and executive officer for Australian Skeptics Inc.

In 2000, he was joint winner of the Australian Business Publishers “Bell” Award for Best Analytical Writing of the Year. In 2006 Fast Thinking was named Best B2B publication in the same awards.

He has written extensively on IT, technology, R&D, business finance, management and marketing issues. During his career he has edited a number of publications, including Lab News, a technical journal for the R&D community; CFO, the then premier professional magazine for senior finance executives; Fast Thinking, a quarterly publication devoted to innovation issues; and most recently CIO, Australia’s leading magazine for senior IT management.

In this interview, Tim talks about skepticism, critical thinking and how we can help our students and children develop life skills that will help them navigate their way through a confusing and often deceiving world.

This is STEMiverse Podcast episode 33.

This podcast is brought to you by Tech Explorations, a leading provider of educational resources for Makers, STEM students, and teachers. Go to to see a complete list of our books and courses covering the Arduino, Raspberry Pi and electronics.


The show notes and other information are available in the episode page on the Tech Explorations blog.


STEMiverse 0032 - Shanti Korporaal and Skeeve Stevens

March 2, 2018

Welcome to STEMiverse Podcast episode 32!

In this episode, Peter and Marcus talk with Shanti Korporaal and Skeeve Stevens!

Skeeve and Shanti are serial entrepreneurs, with multiple technology businesses and startups already in the market and many more planned. Their mission is to build businesses whose purposes is directly or indirectly linked to personal empowerment. The exist to enable people to build a business, provide a service that they would not otherwise be able to, and to stay in business during the disruptopocolypse.

Skeeve and Shanti believe that there is no time like the present to utilise all the global resources to empower dreams and independence, and that the next generation of disruptors will come from the hungry developing world.

Skeeve is the dreamer, visionary, productiser and disruptor. Shanti is the doer, level-headed one that makes every happen. In their capacity as futurists and advisors to organisations and governments, they share their view of the future, what that means for education and how we can prepare our children for it (and why we, the parents and teachers are more in need for such preparation).

This is STEMiverse Podcast episode 32.

This podcast is brought to you by Tech Explorations, a leading provider of educational resources for Makers, STEM students, and teachers. Go to to see a complete list of our books and courses covering the Arduino, Raspberry Pi and electronics.


Show Notes

  • [00:00] Introduction - Introducing Shanti Korporaal and Skeeve Stevens
  • [04:17] Shanti and Skeeve talk about who they are and what they do
  • [07:31] What is a Futurist?
  • [10:13] Age groups and their relationship with technology - Ethical and moral concerns
  • [13:05] E for Ethics
  • [14:08] Programming in the future
  • [15:09] Growing pains in STEM Education and the need to use technology as a tool
  • [19:04] The speed of technological progress is making it hard for teachers to keep up
  • [20:07] Other parts of the world
  • [21:22] A Wild West situation in STEM Education and how to be on the winner's side
  • [23:41] The independent mindset and teaching people about themselves
  • [25:24] The importance of Self-Awareness and the good side of competition
  • [27:00] STEM's place in all this: fleshing out passions, making money with platforms like Patreon
  • [29:17] STEM provides doors
  • [32:09] Experiencing the technology and potential addiction problems
  • [34:45] How VR, AR and MR (Mixed Reality) will change Education in the next 5 years
  • [38:31] AR in a traditional classroom situation - Microsoft HoloLens
  • [40:04] Apple's ARKit and Google's ARCore
  • [40:54] Where does all this leave teachers?
  • [45:05] Superhumanology
  • [45:25] About Modafinil
  • [46:51] About Smart Drugs (Nootropics)
  • [49:00] Implants as keys and RFIDs
  • [53:47] Application of implant technology in education
  • [54:26] RFID Technology
  • [57:27] Should we tag all students?
  • [58:59] Wearable technologies: Jacquard by Google + Levi's Collaboration
  • [01:03:50] How does a teacher prepare kids today for the new technology?
  • [01:05:05] What's happening now that most techies haven't heard about: The Brain and Transcranial Stimulation
  • [01:07:28]
  • [01:10:34] Changeables that scare Skeeve
  • [01:11:16] How can VR be weaponized?
  • [01:12:49] Rapid Fire Questions
  • [01:12:56] The next 10 years
  • [01:13:23] Advice to 10-15 year old students and to teachers
  • [01:14:05] If you're a student today should you worry about a career?
  • [01:14:19] Book recommendations: Simon Sinek books
  • [01:15:06] Parting thoughts

STEMiverse 0031 - Joy Suliman and community-engaged libraries

February 12, 2018

Welcome to STEMiverse Podcast episode 31!

In this episode, Peter and Marcus talk with Joy Suliman!

Joy is the Learning Space Coordinator at Library Services for the City of Canada Bay, one of Sydney's most multicultural suburbs.

Joy brings together her diverse experience in learning, technology, workshop facilitation, research, professional development training, regional outreach, and community engagement in her role with City of Canada Bay Libraries.

She leads a multi-disciplinary team that works alongside the community at The Learning Space, The Connection, Rhodes, providing access to online resources and a wide range of programs focusing on digital and emerging technology such as 3D printing, augmented reality, robots, and electronic making.

In her previous roles as the digital media facilitator for Save the Children NSW, as Senior Research Fellow at Queensland University of Technology, and before that Thinkspace Manager at the Powerhouse Museum, Joy has researched, developed and implemented innovative STEAM workshop programs and resources for community, school groups, teachers , and cultural organisation professionals.

She has also worked at the University of Western Sydney, Arab Council Australia, ABC local radio, and the University of Wollongong.

This is STEMiverse Podcast episode 31.

This podcast is brought to you by Tech Explorations, a leading provider of educational resources for Makers, STEM students, and teachers. Go to to see a complete list of our books and courses covering the Arduino, Raspberry Pi and electronics.


Show Notes

[00:00] Introduction - Introducing Joy Suliman
[02:40] Greetings and talking about birds that make fire!
[05:16] Joy current occupation as Learning Space Coordinator at Library Services for the City of Canada Bay
[06:38] Joy talks about her background as a media artist
[08:18] How Joy's background connects to her current role in the Canada Bay Library
[10:11] How Joy set up the learning space in the Library
[12:47] What differentiates the Canada Bay Library Learning Space from a makerspace
[14:01] The hurdles to get to the point of being a makerspace
[15:58] Starting the club and reaching the community: Community engagement strategy
[18:38] How people go through the facility
[20:02] Proximity to the Sydney 2000 Olympics' sites
[20:52] The people in the library and their roles
[24:59] A typical scenario of a visitor to the library
[29:03] The worldwide trend for libraries to become more freestyled, away from the traditional book towards more activities
[30:45] Chattanooga Public Library, US
[31:31] Identifying need in communities…
[32:28] ...and developing programs
[33:57] Surprising data or insights: Census 2016: Sydney's best educated suburbs
[35:59] AR and VR in the Canada Bay Library
[37:44] Aurasma
[38:10] How can we see education being affected by AR and VR technologies?
[42:20] Rapid Fire Questions
[42:41] Who has been the most influential in shaping the way you teach? The education manager at the Powerhouse Museum, Peter Mahony
[43:12] Advice to Educators just starting out
[44:35] Professional Development suggestions: the book Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity Through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play, by Mitchel Resnick
[45:32] Mitchel Resnick's TED talk
[45:45] Programming Language of choice: Python for BBC micro:bit and NAO humanoid robots
[46:49] Joy's contact information: email:


STEMiverse 0030 - Stephen Hohm - Being a learner that teaches

January 31, 2018

Welcome to STEMiverse Podcast episode 30!

In this episode, Peter and Marcus talk with Stephen Hohm!

Steve is the Associate Pastor of LIFE Foursquare Church in Decatur, Illinois, USA.

He also teaches part-time at Decatur Christian School in Forsyth, Illinois. Steve has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mission Education from North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota (1984). He has over 30 years of teaching experience in various settings, including teaching various math and computer related subjects.

Since 2012, Steve has operated a light and sound Christmas display with over 40,000 lights on more than 300 networked circuits syncopated with Christmas music and broadcast on a low-power transmitter for people to enjoy. The show runs every night in December, and is a special holiday event for hundreds of families in the community.

The private school where Steve teaches is expanding its curriculum to include STEM subjects, including Micro-controllers, Robotics and Programming. Steve is creating the curriculum for the “Arduino Masters” class by gleaning from various sources and materials.

Steve is a teacher who loves to learn.

This is STEMiverse Podcast episode 30.


This podcast is brought to you by Tech Explorations, a leading provider of educational resources for Makers, STEM students, and teachers. Go to to see a complete list of our books and courses covering the Arduino, Raspberry Pi and electronics.


Show Notes

[00:00] Introduction - Introducing Stephen Hohm
[03:43] Stephen talks about his family and their connection to teaching
[05:26] Stephen talks about his background and his first steps in education
[10:00] What is Arduino?
[11:00] How did Stephen learn Arduino: Breaking down learning into tiny steps
[11:55] Stephen's first Arduino kit
[12:37] From a light show Christmas gadget to teaching Arduino
[13:53] Curriculum setup at the school where Stephen teaches (US)
[16:21] Why is it important to invest time and effort into teaching electronics, even in a totally bound-free curriculum?
[17:38] How colleges assess students of a free curriculum
[20:25] The profile of the student in Stephen's classes
[23:44] Kits Stephen uses for teaching: Elegoo
[25:42] Arduino Step-by-Step
[28:02] Arduino Step-by-Step latest updates
[29:27] Other Arduino resources: kit manuals
[31:28] What a student can learn from a burning chip
[34:39] The students become teachers - C3 B4 ME
[35:39] Why Stephen chose Arduino and is building resilience through trial and error worth it?
[37:40] SparkFun Electronics, SparkFun Inventor's Kit Guidebook - CanaKit
[39:35] Stephen's teaching philosophy and principles of education: Seeing the student as an individual and being a learner that teaches
[42:45] Every teacher should be a lifelong learner: Thinking Better, by David Lewis & James Greene
[44:50] Book recommendations by Stephen: The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence, by Josh Waitzkin
[48:31] STEM education's strength: to combine different disciplines
[48:53] Why US uses 120 volts
[50:15] People who have influenced Stephen: Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek's Captain Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard, and his father
[54:04] Stephen's contact information: Email:
[54:38] Christmas light show:


STEMiverse 0029 - James Zaki - Ozberry meetup, Blockhain, and Education

January 26, 2018

Welcome to STEMiverse Podcast episode 29!



In this episode, Peter talks with James Zaki!

James is a Graduate of Mechatronic Engineering and Computer Science with honours and 14 years of industry experience.

He started in industrial automation and then transitioning to application development.

Outside of development James worked as engineering team lead and management in small-medium sized companies. He worked predominantly with start-ups and small companies, and has spent considerable time abroad (France, China, India), and always connected to the EduTech space. James is skilled in programming for various devices: mobile, linux, and microcontrollers. He is experienced at turning product ideas into reality and managing mixed developer teams.

James can speak fluent French, which he has taught himself.

He is also one of the organisers of Ozberry, perhaps Australia's largest Raspberry Pi and Maker-related meetup.

This is STEMiverse Podcast episode 29.


This podcast is brought to you by Tech Explorations, a leading provider of educational resources for Makers, STEM students, and teachers. Go to to see a complete list of our books and courses covering the Arduino, Raspberry Pi and electronics.

Show Notes

[00:00] Introduction - Introducing James Zaki
[04:41] James talks about his background
[05:01] GW-BASIC programming language
[06:38] Learning how to program before Google
[07:17] Are we going too far today and disadvantaging learners by trying hard to create top notch learning materials?
[11:03] The amount of time and effort one had to go through in order to produce results on their own is a big part of the learning experience - Alain de Botton on meritocracy
[12:53] Diverse students called upon to produce similar results
[14:03] James' current projects: freelancing on various projects such as Blockchain and Smart Contract Development
[14:52] James' definition of the Blockchain
[17:26] Ethereum's Light Sync Mode
[17:59] James' experience in applying Blockchain and Smart Contracts to teaching: the concept of Wallets
[19:07] The Blockchain Private Key
[20:41] Examples of how the concept of a Wallet or Blockchain can be used in education
[21:46] Test Networks and Internal Economies
[22:54] Educational outcomes of such setups: Economics, Entrepreneurship, Bookkeeping Accounting, Distributed Networks, Consensus and more
[24:22] OzBerryPi: The monthly Raspberry Pi Meetup in Australia
[26:04] What happens during an OzBerryPi Meetup
[28:00] OzBerryPi Themes
[29:54] Typical backgrounds of meetup participants
[30:43] A robot to solve a rubik's cube puzzle
[32:20] Why teachers come to OzBerryPi and what do they do there?
[34:20] Top 3 technologies teachers use in the classroom to teach STEM topics
[35:58] James' position on how to begin using low-level technologies that don't work out of the box such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi for educational purposes
[44:58] The Cyclearn project
[48:09] James' future plans
[50:24] Rapid Fire Questions
[50:34] Applications James can't live without: Sourcetree
[53:45] James' programming language of choice: C++
[55:26] Parting thoughts
[57:21] James' Contact Information: Twitter: @james_zaki


STEMiverse 0027 - Peter Mahony and interactive Museums

January 26, 2018

Welcome to STEMiverse Podcast episode 27!

In this episode, Peter and Marcus talk with Peter Mahony!

Peter is manager of Education and Digital Learning for Sydney’s Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. He leads program direction and delivery for the Museum’s school learning experiences including Thinkspace and The Mars Lab, coding and game design. As learning leader for MAAS, a lean startup approach involves staging punk learning ‘design experiments’ in partnership with young people and school educators or the co-design of bespoke learning experiments.

He initiated Sydney’s first Mini-Maker Faire back in 2014, which has since evolved into an annual event. He has a Master of Teaching, Graduate Diploma in Music Therapy, Bachelor of Arts. Peter’s background is performing and community arts. Back in the day, as performer and musician, he toured nationally and internationally with Castanet Club, including the Edinburgh Arts Festival Fringe, and nationally with theatre and cabaret shows. Currently Peter sings tenor in Sydney gospel choir Cafe of the Gate of Salvation.

This is STEMiverse Podcast episode 27.


This podcast is brought to you by Tech Explorations, a leading provider of educational resources for Makers, STEM students, and teachers. Go to to see a complete list of our books and courses covering the Arduino, Raspberry Pi and electronics.


Show notes

[00:00] Introduction - Introducing Peter Mahony
[02:30] Peter and Marcus discuss Marcus' bitcoins
[03:28] Peter Mahony talks about his work at the Powerhouse Museum
[05:26] Peter Mahony's background and his relationship to education
[07:59] Peter's teaching activities
[09:10] What is a TeachMeet
[10:48] How has Peter's teaching changed from when he first started?
[12:41] How to prepare to teach by providing the maximum amount of choice
[13:47] The role of museums today in delivering and shaping Education, how they have changed during the last decade and what the Powerhouse Museum is about
[15:52] The Exploratorium (Official Website)
[16:33] The Powerhouse as an interactive museum
[21:30] Learning by discussion
[23:35] Linguistics Professor at Arizona State University, James Paul Gee, famous for writing about Games and Learning: Passionate Affinity Space
[25:17] See, Think, Wonder - Visible Thinking - Project Zero
[28:40] Where does Peter think Education is heading? The drive towards authenticity
[30:26] Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change
[33:44] "This project will investigate how teachers can use the untapped potential of Innovative Learning Environments (ILEs) to improve learning outcomes for students. It will identify whether there is a link between quality teaching and effective use of ILEs and develop practical tools to assist teachers to adapt their teaching practices to maximise deeper learning."
[35:36] Transfer of responsibility and ownership from the teachers to the students
[37:19] Moving away from prescribed curricula towards student, research or project-lead Education
[39:10] Adding Design to STEM (STEMD)
[40:47] What is Design and why should it be included in STEM?
[44:09] Practical examples of exhibits in the museum that highlight design aspects of an artifact
[47:40] Coding and Arduino courses at the museum - The Lilypad ProtoSnap
[54:13] Building the product and applying the principles of design
[55:45] The ThinkerShield
[59:41] Target age groups for the ThinkerShield
[01:00:47] Rapid Fire Questions
[01:01:02] Peter's greatest influences: James Paul Gee, Ron Berger (from Expeditionary Learning) and his book An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students, Nina Simon and her book The Art of Relevance and Elaine Gurian
[01:04:45] The Powerhouse Museum is a place that connects us to both the past and the future
[01:05:33] Peter's contact information: Museum Website: Email: Twitter: @vergeofperil


STEMiverse 0028 - Nigel Cartmell - From Architecture to the Mini Makers

January 8, 2018

Welcome to STEMiverse Podcast episode 28!

In this episode, Peter and Marcus talk with Nigel Cartmell!

Nigel is the founder of AKL Minimakers. Started in 2015, AKL Minimakers delivers parent-led technology workshops for Primary and Intermediate school age children. Nigel and other Minimakers members teach design thinking, and maker culture skills, for prototyping – electronics, coding, digital design and 3d printing.

The weekly workshops run weekly workshops started in February 2016, are financially supported by Parents, and partnered with Auckland Council and AUT (the Auckland University of Tecnnology). Their aim is to grow with the children (currently 11-years old), until they’re old enough to become junior tutors – a wider tutor base enabling an increase in class numbers.

In this interview, Nigel talks about his journey to start the Minimaker workshops as a way to help his daughter to learn and build cool stuff, and to complement what she was learning at school.

This is STEMiverse Podcast episode 28.


This podcast is brought to you by Tech Explorations, a leading provider of educational resources for Makers, STEM students, and teachers. Go to to see a complete list of our books and courses covering the Arduino, Raspberry Pi and electronics.



Show Notes

[00:00] Introduction - Introducing Nigel Carmell
[02:17] Greetings
[03:02] Nigel talks about his background and about AKL Mini Makers
[07:39] Nigel's journey from Aviation to Architecture…
[13:49] ...And from Architecture to the Mini Makers
[20:47] Nigel's motivation for opening a Makerspace
[23:53] Nigel describes the first Mini Makers’ workshops
[24:30] How Nigel went about pitching his initiative to the school and parents
[26:20] Now that technology is more integrated in the school curriculum than it used to, does such a club like Mini Makers still have a place?
[27:30] Examples of Mini Makers' projects and their benefits for the students - From Sketchup, Scratch and mBots to SparkFun gyrostabilization projects and Arduino Robots
[32:29] How to introduce a complex project to kids
[33:30] Stumbling blocks during children's learning process in the Mini Makers club
[36:38] The 4 to 1 ratio between students and mentors as an ingredient to prevent frustration and keep students in the zone
[38:16] How Nigel finds tutors for the Mini Makers
[39:22] Nigel's future plans for world domination!
[41:16] Nigel's advice: Is Nigel's approach of running the Mini Makers group something anyone can implement in their local school?
[42:45] Nigel reflects on what he would have done differently
[44:08] How the children in the Mini Makers club have changed through the years
[47:21] Breaking things down to smaller parts to make sure the kids are not overwhelmed
[47:31] Nigel describes the process of writing a design brief
[49:24] Nigel's design thinking brought from the world of architecture
[50:41] What Nigel intends to bring back to architecture when he returns to the field
[53:04] How much are the topics, introduced by Nigel to the Mini Makers, his own interests, rather than what the students would like to learn?
[54:05] Influencers and book recommendations by Nigel:

[57:37] Potential bioship or earthship model projects for the Mini Makers
[59:44] Closing remarks and advice by Nigel: Look for the Maker clubs and get involved
[01:01:38] Nigel's Contact Information: Email:
[01:02:14] Learning monetization and entrepreneurship
[01:02:50] Science fairs and competitions: Encourage schools to enter


STEMiverse 0026 - Simone Maciel - Robot Overload

January 2, 2018

Welcome to STEMiverse Podcast episode 26!

In this episode, Peter and Marcus talk with Simone Maciel!

Simone is a creative individual who revels in educating people. Having graduated from university with a Bachelor in Arts and a Diploma of Education (secondary), Simone spent the next seven years teaching Drama, Music, English, History, Religious Education and Photographic and Digital Media

Her passion for technology imbued itself in her teaching pedagogy and Simone co-led a successful and creative one-to-one laptop program in her time as an educator. Her areas of expertise include movie making, photography, public speaking and music integration. Simone has spent the past seventeen years involved in musical theatre and she draws on this experience in her teaching practice.

In 2012, Simone resigned from her full time classroom teaching role to pursue a career in teacher training and currently runs Professional Development workshops for MAC1 on a plethora of areas, of which the most popular has become STEM with a specific focus on coding and robotics using Apple Technologies. Her focus is to redefine purpose and authenticity in teaching instruction and at the core of her philosophy is a centred approach to ethics in coding.

This is STEMiverse Podcast episode 26.


This podcast is brought to you by Tech Explorations, a leading provider of educational resources for Makers, STEM students, and teachers. Go to to see a complete list of our books and courses covering the Arduino, Raspberry Pi and electronics.


Show Notes

[00:00] Introduction - Introducing Simone Maciel
[02:53] Simone talks about her background
[09:46] Difference of STEM in religious education as opposed to other types of education
[10:47] The ethics of coding and a professional training for teachers that provides the big picture context for the necessity and purpose of coding
[13:34] The most important question: "Why am I teaching this?"
[15:22] Teachers' responses to the "why" question
[16:30] Simone's response to the "why" in teaching drones: The humanitarian aspect
[19:32] Drones is where scientists have been able to source the bulk of the knowledge we have about the solar system
[19:59] Is STEM Education in general, a type of education primed to asking such "why" questions?
[21:39] STEM Education's place in times of financial, political and social crises
[25:13] STEM-style Education shines in equipping students with an increasing capacity to solve more complex problems
[27:14] Simone describes the process for preparing the Professional Development curriculum at MAC1
[29:34] About MAC1
[31:13] What would a simple way be, for a teacher or school, to introduce Programming & Engineering concepts to its students?
[37:32] Sphero and Swift Playgrounds
[41:25] What is SWIFT and why is it so important?
[42:52] Is what we call STEM really dominated by Robots and Programming Languages?
[43:42] Is the market overloaded by robots? Do sciences and mathematics fall behind in products marketed for education?
[47:59] How should new Educators get prepared for teaching STEM? Self-educate, don't try to learn everything, focus on pedagogy and more useful advice by Simone
[51:06] Teacher Development and Education in an ideal world
[51:51] Simone's opinion on what Australia is doing right in Education
[54:59] Should we get rid of exams?
[56:13] Professional Development course suggestions by Simone: Harvard's Introduction to Computer Science on edX, engaging with other like-minded teachers and in Twitter's #aussieED chats
[56:50] Simone's presentation at Edutech: "To code or not to code, that is the question. Looking at coding from the perspective of an English and Drama teacher"
[59:05] Classroom innovators who share their content in Twitter
[01:00:50] Book recommendations by Simone: Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly
[01:01:54] The Apple Teacher Platform: Digital resources with programs and classroom activities
[01:02:32] Simone's Contact Information: Email:, Twitter: @mac1_education


STEMiverse 0025 - Kieran Nolan - The School on the Blockchain

December 11, 2017

Welcome to STEMiverse Podcast episode 25!

In this episode, Peter and Marcus talk with Kieran Nolan!

This episode is special because while it might not seem that it's about education, it actually is! In this discussion, Kieran takes us for a ride in the world of networks, block chains, total online transparency, and 10 year-old students create their own cryptocurrencies. Stay with us, it will be worth it!

Kieran Nolan is a qualified Network Engineer, certified Cloud Migration Architect, and Educational Technologist, with certifications from Google, Microsoft and Cisco and a Degree in Network Engineering.

He has 10+ years of experience working in schools from K-12.
Under Kieran’s leadership, Wooranna Park Primary School (WPPS) has established itself as an exemplar in introducing the digital world to students.

The school has led the way in establishing a ‘24/7 International Virtual Learning Environment’ in Minecraft, Victoria’s first CoderDojo, Australia’s first Immersive Education Club (iED Club), the World’s youngest Cisco class., and the very first ‘School on the Blockchain’

This is STEMiverse Podcast episode 25.


This podcast is brought to you by Tech Explorations, a leading provider of educational resources for Makers, STEM students, and teachers. Go to to see a complete list of our books and courses covering the Arduino, Raspberry Pi and electronics.


Show Notes

[00:00] Introduction - Introducing Kieran Nolan
[01:56] Kieran Nolan talks about his background
[05:42] The School in the Cloud
[07:05] What is Blockchain?
[09:11] What a Torrent file is
[10:57] Proof of Existence and Proof of Work
[12:26] Beyond Bitcoin, implementing Blockchain for anything that needs proof that has been decentralized and distributed
[13:16] Application examples of the Blockchain
[16:09] What does it mean that Blockchain is "transparent"?
[17:02] Real-time data about Bitcoin
[18:22] How does Blockchain scale?
[21:19] How long does a Bitcoin transaction take to complete?
[22:13] Physical places that accept Bitcoin for payment
[23:38] What is the best coin currency to invest in, if you want to buy an education for your children? Cryptocurrencies - STORJ
[28:06] Blockchain changes whole industries and can be applied in governments
[28:45] How understanding Blockchain technology helps achieve educational outcomes for students
[32:57] Social aspects of Blockchain and teaching advanced concepts to young kids
[36:52] How does voting work in Bitcoin?
[38:11] Transparent but anonymous voting
[39:17] MiVote: Grassroots democracy movement based on Blockchain, transparent and reliable
[41:31] Where can a teacher interested in Blockchain education look for information and guidance? At the Blockchain Centre in Melbourne and online on Blockchain Education
[44:09] Technology's momentum
[44:43] Minecraft classes:
[46:25] How does it all connect to the curricula?
[47:16] Enhanced human talents
[48:18] What Ethereum technology is
[51:07] CoinLaunch Market
[52:54] Additional applications of Blockchain: Vaccination
[54:58] Kieran's Contact Information: School Website: Woorana Park Primary School, Personal Website:
[56:27] Kieran will be presenting at EduTECH 2018:


STEMiverse 0024 - Viv White on Big Picture Education

December 1, 2017

Welcome to STEMiverse Podcast episode 24!


In this episode, Peter and Marcus talk with Viv White!

Viv is the founder of an innovative new design for learning and schools.

Viv taught primary and secondary education for 13 years, worked in tertiary research for five years as a research fellow at Macquarie University and Victoria University, and served as an adjunct professor at the University of Western Sydney.

She is co-founder, managing director and company secretary of Big Picture Education Australia. The work that Viv does in Big Picture Education is the main topic of our discussion in this episode.

Viv has taken the lead in establishing Big Picture Learning International (BPLI), a venture that will influence governments and educational institutions and launch more schools for disadvantaged and disengaged youth.


This podcast is brought to you by Tech Explorations, a leading provider of educational resources for Makers, STEM students, and teachers. Go to to see a complete list of our books and courses covering the Arduino, Raspberry Pi and electronics.


Show Notes

[00:00] Introduction - Introducing Viv White
[01:35] Viv talks about her background and what lead her to Big Picture Education
[05:05] Who are the disadvantaged kids in schools?
[06:13] Immigrant groups
[06:50] Which aspects of school in the past were problematic for disadvantaged children?
[08:20] Reforming standardized education into something else
[10:27] An out of date delivery system for learning
[10:52] What a modern society needs from its educational system
[12:05] The solution is to personalise learning
[12:20] Start with student interest
[17:02] The meaning of "Do Well" and the example of the New Harmony High School in New Orleans
[19:20] How does the Big Picture program work?
[21:37] Description of the pathway from a Big Picture school to University
[24:54] How assessment at scale works with so much personal customisation
[26:09] How long does it take to mark or assess a student's portfolio
[26:49] Is Big Picture suitable for every student?
[28:07] The long term aims of Big Picture
[31:02] What is the process to convert a traditional school into a Big Picture school and do you need a school in order to participate in Big Picture Education?
[35:47] What are the major role blocks Big Picture had to face?
[37:12] The Big Picture Learning International Network
[38:06] How did Big Picture expand into many countries?
[38:32] Big Picture Education in China
[40:20] The Big Picture Starter Pack
[41:15] How can a mentor volunteer to Big Picture?
[42:08] How students find their mentors: The informational interview - The Shadow Day
[45:30] After retirement, what does success look like?
[47:28] Contact Information: Big Picture Education Website Info & Contact, Viv's Email: