Communicating STEAM With Kari Byron

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Kari Byron is a television host and STEAM communicator (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) best known as one of the presenters of the popular science entertainment show “Mythbusters” which, over the course of 248 episodes and 2,950 separate experiments, helped inspire an entire generation of young engineers and scientists. Its combination of smart entertainment and accessible educational content proved immensely popular, garnering an international audience while demonstrating that STEAM can be for everyone.

In this episode of Create the Future, we delve into the exciting and creative world of science communication: everything from designing experiments to being a human test dummy. Kari shares how she now puts the ‘A’ into STEAM using explosives, we discuss the importance of creating opportunities for yourself, and we learn why Kari believes “failure is always an option” when it comes to busting myths.

About the guest

For over a decade Kari Byron has been a strong presence in the world of reality-based science and travel television. Best known as a host on the Discovery Channel’s popular science entertainment television program Mythbusters, she has gone on to host and produce several STEAM related shows including; Head Rush, LDRS, Thrill Factor, Strange Trips, America Declassified, The White Rabbit Project, and Positive Energy. Kari now presents Crash Test World, where she travels the world to discover how science, technology, and engineering can come together to create a sustainable world and brighter future.

Episode Highlights

  • “I was absolutely a maker kid, I would find anything I could to craft. My recycling bin was more of a bin of materials.”
  • “I want to continue to amplify and signal boost the engineers and scientists trying to solve the big problems of the world and communicate all the hope that's going into trying to change things.”
  • “I think the fact that we all had very creative backgrounds is what made Mythbusters work. We didn't set out to be an educational show, it was just an amazing by-product. It was very humbling to see the effect it had in classrooms, because we were just having fun. I feel very honoured that we inspired people to go into careers in engineering, biotech, science, or even the arts.”
  • “Sometimes we’d have to engineer our own tools because we were building something that didn't exist yet.”
  • “Every rig we built was so different and so complicated and so strange. I feel like I learnt something every day, which is why we always looked so inspired. It was really exciting to come up with creative ways of doing things.”
  • “I always wanted to be a toymaker, so I just cold called this company that were making cool toys that taught kids how to code and asked if I could be involed. It is a really cool way of putting play with learning.”
  • On creating opportunities for yourself: “I think it's really scary for people that someone might say ‘no’ and that would create a failure. Like we always had on our hats at Mythbusters ‘Failure is always an option’, it's really just a step towards what you want to get to.”
  • On inspiring the younger generation: “I can't say I'm a parenting expert, but I do know that when I see people passionate about what they want to do, it makes their kids passionate about it too. So for me, the best thing I could do for my daughter, is to go for it myself.”

The Create the Future Podcast is available to listen on: