Stemiverse 0005 – Keith Heggart and community makerspaces 

 July 11, 2017

By  Peter

In this episode, Dr. Peter Dalmaris and Marcus Schappi talk with Keith Heggart.

Keith is an Academic at the University of Technology, Sydney, and the University of Western Sydney.

He is an Organiser at the NSW Independent Education Union, expecting a Ph.D. in Citizen Education and Critical Pedagogy expected at the end of 2017, and many more qualifications in Education and Engineering.

In this conversation, Keith discusses some of the STEM-related topics that excite him, including community-lead makerspaces, the magic of the Raspberry Pi, programming, online resources for teachers, and practical approaches to teaching science.

This is Stemiverse Podcast episode 5.


Stemiverse 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 Keith Heggart
  • [01:22] Keith talks about his background, his relation to STEM and Education and his current activities
  • [03:19] Community-lead and funded Makerspaces
  • [05:01] What is needed to run a Makerspace
  • [06:57] Examples of current Makerspaces in Sydney: in schools
  • [09:26] How to run a Makerspace as a Teacher in a school: “Experiment and try and have a bit of fun” – Edutopia & Treehouse
  • [11:24] If you started a Makerspace today what would be the first thing you’d buy: Raspberry Pi Platforms
  • [12:42] Bias in favor of Engineering and Computer Science in Makerspaces – How to also expose children to Science and Mathematics
  • [16:40] The most important responsibility of Teachers: Not to kill students’ creativity
  • [17:37] Administrative tasks restricting teachers from doing their job as well as they possibly can
  • [19:15] MIT assesses students’ Portfolios, not just their marks
  • [20:01] How students’ learning process changed over the last 10-20 years – What could be improved and how
  • [24:48] Alternative to age criteria for dividing student classes: capability, desire, customized learning experience via computer teaching tools and the Teacher’s place in such an environment
  • [27:42] Mentorship rather than distribution of facts and data – How far into the future is this possible
  • [29:22] Arguments against PBL (Project-Based Learning): Does not allow information processing, cognitive overload vs explicit instruction for developing a base level of understanding
  • [31:24] Maker Education (Maker Revolution): Can it be applied in the classroom
  • [34:12] What is the biggest thing that will disrupt Education in Australia
  • [35:38] School of the Air
  • [36:30] Rapid Fire Questions
  • [36:59] What App can you not live without? Evernote, Zapier, Wunderlist
  • [38:22] Who is the Most Influential Person in shaping the way that you teach
  • [39:34] Advice to Educators just starting out: Join a Union
  • [41:25] How should new educators prepare for teaching: “If things are not working well try something new, and then evaluate”
  • [42:44] Favorite Programming Languages: MATLAB, Python, Swift
  • [43:59] Teaching Python vs Swift
  • [46:46] Professional Development Conferences and Workshops: Twitter hashtags such as #edu and #aussieED (@aussieEDchat), Teacher’s Education Review Podcast, Treehouse, Lynda, Apple Distinguished Educators Program & Apple Teacher Program
  • [49:35] Parting Thoughts, Dos and Dont’s: Be inclusive
  • [52:30] Links and Contact Information: Website: – Twitter: @keithheggart


Peter Dalmaris is an educator, electrical engineer, electronics hobbyist, and Maker. Creator of online video courses on DIY electronics and author of three technical books, and has recently released his book Maker Education Revolution.   As a Chief Tech Explorer since 2013 at Tech Explorations, the company he founded in Sydney, Australia, Peter’s mission is to explore technology and help educate the world.  Tech Explorations offers educational courses and Bootcamps for electronics hobbyists, STEM students and STEM teachers. A life-long learner, Peter’s core skill is in explaining difficult concepts through video and text. With over 15 years of tertiary teaching experience, Peter has developed a simple yet comprehensive style in teaching that students from all around the world appreciate.  His passion for technology and in particular for the world of DIY open source hardware has been a dominant driver that has guided his personal development and his work through Tech Explorations. Peter’s current online courses have helped over 60,000 people from around the world to be better Makers. 

Peter Dalmaris

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