Monday, February 6, 2017


Welcome back to 2017 and a new year of STEMpunk. In this episode the STEMpunks do a quick review of 2016 and have a think about the year ahead! Lots of cool ideas, lots to do.

Some of the things we talked about in this episode were how we throughout last year went, and what's in store for this year. An exciting time ahead. We've been thinking over the break of different guests to interview, events, Science week and topics to cover.

There were some slight audio issues in this episode, it sort of sounds like we were either recording in a room with an air conditioner, or in the ISS. I'd like you to imagine that it's the latter! That aside, here's to 2017


STEMpunk Podcast
Outro Music: STARSET -Let It Die. Used with permission.

Monday, December 12, 2016


In this episode. Tom Gordon chats with Josh Richards - Space Pirate over the phone. At the time of the interview, Josh was in Perth, Soon, he might be in Canberra, or on your tv or radio somewhere, and later (if all goes to plan) he'll be on Mars.

Josh is one of the 100 Astronaut candidates selected to go on a one way trip to Mars, just think about that for a second! About 40 people will end up going and Josh hopes to be one of them. Best of luck t0 The Might Ginge

He's had such an interesting career so far and it was great to talk to him about some of his ideas and his background etc. Guaranteed we'll be talking to Josh again.

Please enjoy.

You can Find Josh all over the place:
Josh Richards website
Josh Richards on Facebook
Josh Richards on Twitter
Josh Richards on Instagram

Lemon Jelly: Spacewalk. An inspirational song!

STEMpunk Podcast

Outro Music: STARSET -Let It Die. Used with permission.

Monday, November 14, 2016

STEMpunk live Science Teachers Workshop

On Tuesday November 7, The STEMpunks, Tom, Christie (played in this episode by Stephanie Momsen) and Shane hosted our fourth STEMpunk quiz as a part of the Sydney University Science Teachers Workshop and Wayward Brewery in Annandale, Sydney. It was a huge success with a great vibe. 

Massive thanks to all involved, especially all the teachers, Wayward breweries, The Sydney University Science Teachers Workshop, team Stephanie (Christie) for winning the event, and to all for everyone in the audience for participating.


You can get involved too by answering the online Audience questions (and survey) 

Here are the questions we asked:

Audience Question 1:
An astronaut working outside a spacecraft in orbit around Earth is not attached to it. Why does the astronaut NOT drift away from the spacecraft?
A) The force of gravity acting on the astronaut and spacecraft is negligible.
(B) The spacecraft and the astronaut are in orbit around the Sun with the Earth. 
(C) The forces due to gravity acting on both the astronaut and the spacecraft are the same. 
D) The accelerations of the astronaut and the spacecraft are inversely proportional to their respective masses.
S - Science
SQ1 What was the Nobel Prize in Physics awarded for in 2016?

SQ2 1 point for each physiological effect of being in Space 
SQ3 - Student responses to Physics exam questions

1. Give a reason people would want to love near powerlines  
A) You get your electricity faster, 
B) You get your electricity cheaper, 
C) Superpowers, 
D) It's a reminder of humans ability to create electricity

2. Why are there rings on Saturn? A) Accretion disk from being a failed sun, 
B) Saturn doesn't have rings, Jupiter does, 
C) The same reason all planets have rings, 
D) Because God liked it so he put a ring on it
SQ4 - Science with a tennis ball  
Audience Question 2
According to Rutherford, all Science is either Physics or... Stamp collecting  
T - Technology
TQ1 When will Moore's law end?
TQ2 In Gartner's Hype cycle, what comes after the trough of disillusionment?
A) Technology trigger, 
B) Peak of inflated expectations, 
C) Slope of enlightenment, 
D) Plateau of productivity
TQ3 - True or False One Google search produces about 0.2g of CO2
TQ4  What would find at the website "" 
Audience question 3
What was the title of Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the first battery
A) Sir, 
B) Count, 
C) Professor, 
D) Lord
E - Engineering  
The optimist says the glass is half full, the pessimist says the glass is half empty, the engineer says...
Who said “To be a good professional engineer, always start to study late for exams. Because it teaches you how to manage time and tackle emergencies." 
EQ3 - Failed inventions
A) What is: The underwear built for two. Half the fun is getting in to them, the other half is up to you

B) True or false - DVD rewinder  
Who is NSW Chief Scientist and engineer?
Audience question 4: 
The word engineer comes from a Latin word meaning what?
A) applied science, 
B) cleverness, 
C) contraction of "engine" and "beer", 
D) technical
M - Mathematics  
If ..... is the maths dance for y=x. What is....
1) y=-|x|, 
2) y=sin(x) 
3) y=x^2, 
4) y^2+x^2=r^2 
According to a 2009 study, What will help students with their maths tests?
1) Chewing Gum, 
2) Studying, 
3) Sleeping, 
4) Hypnotherapy
What was found in Newton's Principia Mathematica 300 years after it was published?
1) a typo, 
2) a maths error, 
3) a bug, 
4) a joke
Is 0 an even or odd number?

STEMpunk Podcast
Look: Twitter Facebook
Outro Music: STARSET -Let It Die. Used with permission.

Monday, October 31, 2016


From left: Tom, Luke Barnes,
Christie, Geraint Lewis, Shane
Tom Christie and Shane sat down with Professor Geraint Lewis and Dr Luke Barnes to talk about galaxies, multiverses, STEM and their new Book "A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos."

After answering Dennis' question about the role that science should have in politics, Geraint asked this doozy for our next guest to answer.

'In Australia, we have limited grant funding, but we have grant funding open to everybody. We have national priorities but they're not strongly applied. Should science funding be distributed to all, or focused into areas where we could be international winners?" Also "Have you bought our book??"
Thanks Geraint and Luke for the awesome chat!

The cool thing about this interview, is that after we stopped the recording, we kept chatting with Geraint and Luke about Time travel and relativity! Awesome. We're basically guaranteeing another interview with these two researchers.

2DF Spectrograph

Andromeda/Milky way collision

Geraint and Luke's Book
You can Find Geraint on twitter here: @cosmichorizons
Luke on Twitter Here: @lukebarnesastro
and their book here:

Outro Music: STARSET -Let It Die. Used with permission.

Monday, October 17, 2016


A/Prof Dennis Stello.
A superstar of Asteroseismology!
Tom talks to Dennis Stello from halfway between Sydney Uni and UNSW about Asteroseismology, Kepler spacecraft, planet hunting, galaxies and funding. I learnt a lot and hope that you enjoy the chat.

This episode has STEMpunk's very first live demo which uses a whirly tube to model turbulence inside stars. It was very exciting!

Kepler K2 "Second light"
TESS - Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
ARC funding announcements

After Dennis answered Jenny Martin's question about Science funding, we asked him to ask a question for our next guest, Here's Dennis' question:

'What role should science have in politics?'

Outro Music: STARSET -Let It Die. Used with permission.

Monday, October 3, 2016

STEM a go go

Dr Jenny Martin. 
In this interview Tom talks to Science communicator, lecturer, radio presenter and excellent person Dr Jenny Martin from the University of Melbourne. We talked about STEM, Communication, Teaching science communication and heaps of other brilliant stuff! We caught up with Jenny at a cafe in Brisbane while we were both at a Science and Maths education conference.

Thanks so much to Jenny for her time, we're looking forward to when we can speak again!

After Jenny answered James O'Hanlon's question about sailing the uncharted waters of Science research, we asked her to ask a question for our next guest, Here's Jenny's question:

'What will it take for our Government to value, prioritise and much better fund science?'

You can find Jenny all over the place: Dr Jenny Martin on the line:
Espresso Science
Einstein a go go
Jenny at Uni of Melbourne

Outro Music: STARSET -Let It Die. Used with permission.

Friday, September 23, 2016


Simon Crook, from CrookED Science

STEMpunk has been featured in the CrookED Science newsletter. CrookED Science is a science, technology and STEM education consultancy dedicated to supporting primary and secondary schools in Australia. Simon joined us on the Panel for our STEMpunk quiz in July and was a great addition to the team! Thanks for the plug Simon!

STEMpunk will be interviewing Simon in the near future, so keep an ear out for that.