St. Mary’s Academy wants to end the era of brogrammers

Early in December, St. Mary’s Academy hosted Computer Science Education Week, giving female students the opportunity to learn coding, robotics, and 3D printing and design. More than 600 girls participated in interactive activities, including two guest panels featuring women who work in the typically male-dominated tech industry.

The 14 speakers included engineers, designers and project managers from Hewlett-Packard, Cambia Health Solutions, 3DSystems, New Relic, Metal Toad, PDX Code Guild, CDK Global and ChickTech. Many of the panelists called for and end to “brogrammers,” a term that refers to a macho subculture prevailing in the tech field.   

“In our increasingly technological world, it’s important for everyone, male and female, to have at least a basic understanding of technology – both its powers and its limitations,” says Peyton Tierney, a St. Mary’s junior and Tech Club leader.   

Students learned to design and print 3D models, programed robots and learned software programming.

“We wanted to dismantle the stereotypes of people who study computer science and to get our students exposed to tech careers they might not have thought to consider,” says Mike Bedney, tech teacher at the school. “Knowing how to code opens the door to creating technology rather than using it.”