Welcome to Stemiverse Podcast episode 27.

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

Peter is manager of Education and Digital Learning for Sydney’s Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. He leads program direction and delivery for the Museum’s school learning experiences including Thinkspace and The Mars Lab, coding and game design. As learning leader for MAAS, a lean startup approach involves staging punk learning ‘design experiments’ in partnership with young people and school educators or the co-design of bespoke learning experiments.

He initiated Sydney’s first Mini-Maker Faire back in 2014, which has since evolved into an annual event. He has a Master of Teaching, Graduate Diploma in Music Therapy, Bachelor of Arts. Peter’s background is performing and community arts. Back in the day, as performer and musician, he toured nationally and internationally with Castanet Club, including the Edinburgh Arts Festival Fringe, and nationally with theatre and cabaret shows. Currently Peter sings tenor in Sydney gospel choir Cafe of the Gate of Salvation.

This is Stemiverse Podcast episode 27.


Stemiverse podcast is brought to you by Tech Explorations, a leading provider of educational resources for Makers, STEM students, and teachers. Go to txplore.com to see a complete list of our books and courses covering the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and electronics.

Episode notes

[00:00] Introduction - Introducing Peter Mahony
[02:30] Peter and Marcus discuss Marcus' bitcoins
[03:28] Peter Mahony talks about his work at the Powerhouse Museum
[05:26] Peter Mahony's background and his relationship to education
[07:59] Peter's teaching activities
[09:10] What is a TeachMeet
[10:48] How has Peter's teaching changed from when he first started?
[12:41] How to prepare to teach by providing the maximum amount of choice
[13:47] The role of museums today in delivering and shaping Education, how they have changed during the last decade and what the Powerhouse Museum is about
[15:52] The Exploratorium (Official Website)
[16:33] The Powerhouse as an interactive museum
[21:30] Learning by discussion
[23:35] Linguistics Professor at Arizona State University, James Paul Gee, famous for writing about Games and Learning: Passionate Affinity Space
[25:17] See, Think, Wonder - Visible Thinking - Project Zero
[28:40] Where does Peter think Education is heading? The drive towards authenticity
[30:26] Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change
[33:44] "This project will investigate how teachers can use the untapped potential of Innovative Learning Environments (ILEs) to improve learning outcomes for students. It will identify whether there is a link between quality teaching and effective use of ILEs and develop practical tools to assist teachers to adapt their teaching practices to maximise deeper learning."
[35:36] Transfer of responsibility and ownership from the teachers to the students
[37:19] Moving away from prescribed curricula towards student, research or project-lead Education
[39:10] Adding Design to STEM (STEMD)
[40:47] What is Design and why should it be included in STEM?
[44:09] Practical examples of exhibits in the museum that highlight design aspects of an artifact
[47:40] Coding and Arduino courses at the museum - The Lilypad ProtoSnap
[54:13] Building the product and applying the principles of design
[55:45] The ThinkerShield
[58:00] https://maas.museum/learn/thinkershield/
[59:41] Target age groups for the ThinkerShield
[01:00:47] Rapid Fire Questions
[01:01:02] Peter's greatest influences: James Paul Gee, Ron Berger(from Expeditionary Learning) and his book An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students, Nina Simon and her book The Art of Relevance and Elaine Gurian
[01:04:45] The Powerhouse Museum is a place that connects us to both the past and the future

[01:05:33] Peter's contact information: Museum Website:https://maas.museum/learn/ Email: [email protected] Twitter:@vergeofperil