Marian College’s Tech Angels cracks the code to success

Students Katherine, Francesca and Yohannah. Photo: Kristian Scott

Charlie’s infamous angels have been replaced by a new, more technologically savvy incarnation at Marian College in Sunshine West.

They go by the name of Tech Angels, and there are about 120 of them who meet every couple of weeks to practice their coding – designing and writing computer programs – and to put the school’s new 3D printer to use.

Paul Familari, assistant to the school’s co-principals and organiser of the Tech Angels meets, says the volunteer group has been a huge success.

“The kids have voted with their feet, it’s probably our biggest club now.”

Lately, students have been working on building computer games for a national video game challenge that draws on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills.

The Australian STEM Video Game Challenge calls on students to design and build their own games using a bit of trial and error, critical and creative thinking.

Mr Familari says the school is trying to encourage more students to enrol in computer studies, to buck trends of minimal female participation in IT at a tertiary level.

“Coding skills seem to be the skills of the future,” he says.

“And we don’t want our students to just be consumers of technology, we want them to be the builders and designers of technology.”