Our Legacy

STEM Punks

Telstra Business Awards  |  QLD  |  State Winner

2019 Telstra Emerging & Energised

It’s not often you would associate science and fun in the same sentence, but that was exactly Michael Holmstrom’s mission. He created STEM Punks, a group of passionate educators helping to inspire kids and adults learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in a fun and interactive environment.

After spending 15 years in the innovation and commercialisation market, Michael wanted to share his knowledge and empower the next generation of innovators. Along with his wife Fiona, together they noticed a significant gap between what students are taught today versus what they need for future-ready careers.

Aimed at inspiring tomorrow’s innovators, the team of educators helps children develop skills in STEM to prepare them for a future where they can make a difference.

"There’s no lack of ideas out there. Everyone has ideas. The challenge is to embrace the mindset of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship to turn those ideas into valuable outcomes for people. And that’s what we’re all about here,” Holmstrom said.

The combined experience in the team of 15+ years in education and global innovation projects has inspired them to build the business into a change-maker in STEM education.

In 2019, the team won the Telstra Business Awards Queensland Emerging & Energised Award.

 “Winning a Telstra Award has been amazing for us. As a fast-growing small business, the PR opportunities and media attention have put us on the map both in Australia and around the world. It’s a journey we went through as a team that has helped us achieve an even better culture and means we can get through any hurdle as a tight, strong team,” said Holmstrom.

Holmstrom’s approach to business has always been to “fail fast, in a cost-effective way” to enable a process of rapid customer-validation of an idea before going too far. It’s how STEM Punks got off the ground and how it has become such a success.

Today, with a much larger team and delivering STEM programs all over Australasia – they still apply the same business development principle of failing-fast.

During COVID-19 with face-to-face classes being cancelled, the business was forced to transform like many others. The team fast-tracked its online expansion in six weeks instead of two years, reaching students all over the world in the middle of the pandemic that forced many to stay home.

From drone flying workshops to learning how to make robotics, STEM Punks continues to provide fun and hands-on learning experience through online and in-person workshops and build confidence in young students to solve the problems of the future.

More legacy stories.

Bush Medijina

Telstra Business Awards | NT | State Winner

2019 Telstra Social Change Maker

Bush Medijina started with an empty shipping container and a big dream inspired by the female elders of Groote Eylandt, an island off the coast of the Northern Territory.


Telstra Business Awards | WA | State Winner

2019 Telstra Medium and Making Waves

When Paley Ho founded Unios from his hometown of Perth, he set out to circuit break Australia's commercial lighting industry which was heavily footed in New South Wales and Victoria, shining a light on what could be done from WA.

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