STEM Punks founder Fiona Holmstrom, a finalist in tech awards

Fiona Holmstrom’s mission to make Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education gender-inclusive has earnt her a place as a finalist in the 2021 Women in Technology Awards.

The Samford Village resident and STEM Punks director started the world-leading program - with learning outcomes linked to the Australian Curriculum - in her garage.

STEM Punks was created to provide kids and adults with a mindset of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship to enable them to solve the problems of tomorrow today.

“There was a need to bridge the gap between ideas and valuable outcomes, and to give students and ability to apply STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills in real world problem-solving,” Fiona says.

“When I was eight years old my brother was given a computer.

“I played on it when he wasn't around and taught myself how to code and how to create games and challenges.

“I knew from early on that my career would involve technology, however it wasn't until decades later that this came to fruition.”

Career change

After a career in the corporate world, Fiona, who won an Ausmumpreneur Award for her work championing STEM for girls last year, had children and decided to leave her working life behind.

Becoming a mum prompted her to search for leading education systems to suit her own children and their development.

“From Scandinavia to the Middle East to North America and everywhere in between, I found that STEM kept coming up in curriculums everywhere - everywhere except Australia,” she says.

“So I set about to change that, and STEM Punks was born.”

Going global

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