Inspiring the minds of tomorrow

9 October 2019

A dynamic husband and wife duo have taken home a Telstra Business Award for their inventive program that equips children with skills to enable 21st century learning.

Inspiring tomorrow’s innovators, University of Queensland alumni Fiona and Michael Holmstrom run STEMPunks – a Brisbane-based company providing world-leading STEM education programs for students and teachers in primary and secondary schools with learning outcomes linked to the Australian Curriculum.

Fiona, a graduate from UQ’s Master of Writing, Editing and Publishing (WEP) program, said STEMPunks mission is to develop and inspire kids and adults to learn about STEM in a fun and interactive environment.

“Through our programs we create confident and creative thinkers who develop an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset,” she said.

Director of UQ’s WEP program Dr Richard Newsome said one of the greatest challenges facing science was effectively communicating complex issues to an audience already overwhelmed with information.

“The writing and editing skills that Fiona honed in the WEP program are already being put to good use in STEMPunks for young innovators,” Dr Newsome said.

“Clear and effective writing in an age of data overload is so important, and Fiona is well placed to pass on those skills to this emerging generation of creators.”

As an engineering graduate, her husband Michael knows only too well that there is no lack of ideas in the world, just a lack of mindset based on innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship to transform these ideas into value for other people.

“At STEMPunks that’s what we’re all about,” Michael said.

“We believe that STEM Education should be available to everyone and provide an experience that caters for individual needs and different skill levels.

“All our programs are developed to enable a creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial mindset.”

Fiona and Michael accepted the Queensland Emerging and Energised winner for STEMPunks at the Telstra Business Awards gala dinner held in Brisbane earlier this month.

The awards are all about celebrating the achievements of Australian businesses and providing opportunities for those businesses to grow.

Media: Managing Director STEMPunks Michael Holmstrom, 0400 600 729,, Kristen Johnston (HASS Communications),, 07 3346 1633.