Stemiverse 0026 – Simone Maciel – Robot Overload 

 January 30, 2018

By  Peter

In this episode, Dr. Peter Dalmaris and Marcus Schappi talk with Simone Maciel.

Simone is a creative individual who revels in educating people. Having graduated from university with a Bachelor in Arts and a Diploma of Education (secondary), Simone spent the next seven years teaching Drama, Music, English, History, Religious Education and Photographic and Digital Media.

Her passion for technology imbued itself in her teaching pedagogy and Simone co-led a successful and creative one-to-one laptop program in her time as an educator. Her areas of expertise include movie making, photography, public speaking, and music integration. Simone has spent the past seventeen years involved in musical theatre, and she draws on this experience in her teaching practice.

In 2012, Simone resigned from her full-time classroom teaching role to pursue a career in teacher training and currently runs Professional Development workshops for MAC1 on a plethora of areas, of which the most popular has become STEM with a specific focus on coding and robotics using Apple Technologies. Her focus is to redefine purpose and authenticity in teaching instruction and at the core of her philosophy is a centered approach to ethics in coding.

This is Stemiverse Podcast episode 26.

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 Simone Maciel
  • [02:53] Simone talks about her background
  • [09:46] Difference of STEM in religious education as opposed to other types of education
  • [10:47] The ethics of coding and professional training for teachers that provides the big picture context for the necessity and purpose of coding
  • [13:34] The most important question: “Why am I teaching this?”
  • [15:22] Teachers’ responses to the “why” question
  • [16:30] Simone’s response to the “why” in teaching drones: The humanitarian aspect
  • [19:32] Drones is where scientists have been able to source the bulk of the knowledge we have about the solar system
  • [19:59] Is STEM Education in general, a type of education primed to asking such “why” questions?
  • [21:39] STEM Education’s place in times of financial, political and social crises
  • [25:13] STEM-style Education shines in equipping students with an increased capacity to solve more complex problems
  • [27:14] Simone describes the process for preparing the Professional Development curriculum at MAC1
  • [29:34] About MAC1
  • [31:13] What would a simple way be, for a teacher or school, to introduce Programming & Engineering concepts to its students?
  • [37:32] Sphero and Swift Playgrounds
  • [41:25] What is SWIFT and why is it so important?
  • [42:52] Is what we call STEM dominated by Robots and Programming Languages?
  • [43:42] Is the market overloaded by robots? Do sciences and mathematics fall behind in products marketed for education?
  • [47:59] How should new Educators get prepared for teaching STEM? Self-educate, don’t try to learn everything, focus on pedagogy and more useful advice by Simone
  • [51:06] Teacher Development and Education in an ideal world
  • [51:51] Simone’s opinion on what Australia is doing right in Education
  • [54:59] Should we get rid of exams?
  • [56:13] Professional Development course suggestions by Simone: Harvard’s Introduction to Computer Science on edX, engaging with other like-minded teachers and in Twitter’s #aussieED chats
  • [56:50] Simone’s presentation at Edutech: “To code or not to code, that is the question. Looking at coding from the perspective of an English and Drama teacher”
  • [59:05] Classroom innovators who share their content on Twitter
  • [01:00:50] Book recommendations by Simone: Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly
  • [01:01:54] The Apple Teacher Platform: Digital resources with programs and classroom activities
  • [01:02:32] Simone’s Contact Information: Email: [email protected], Twitter: @mac1_education


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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