STEMiverse 0005 - Keith Heggart

May 29, 2017

In this episode of STEMiverse, Marcus and I 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 PhD 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.


Episode 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: #edu Twitter, #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


Facebook Comments: