The average 14-year-old would be kicking back during school holidays but programming prodigy Michael Nixon has business on the mind.
The Kooringal High product has been plotting a technological revolution in the Riverina with his exciting brand of educational programming and wants to see Wagga become a leader in 3D printing and coding.
“In the US, there’s so much printing technology and almost every classroom has a 3D printer,” Michael said.
“But in Australia, schools are telling us it’s too expensive or that they don’t really care.”
Michael believes regional areas need to shake off the image that technology is “nerdy” if they’re to keep up with the times.
“The problem is that we’re really falling behind and kids are being being told they don’t really need to know this technology,” he said.
“We need to spread the word that it’s not a nerdy thing to do – it’s educational and allows people to build things from their imagination.”
Naysayers might scoff, but Michael’s vision is no pipe dream.
The Wagga teeenager has already launched his business, Edukits, in Australia and has shipped hundreds of interactive coding games interstate and across to the United States.
It’s an incredible feat and Michael’s father, Matt Nixon, couldn’t be prouder.
“His knowledge far surpasses any of mine,” he said.
“I did some basic html coding at university and introduced Michael to it but he’s taken everything on board and more.
“His workshops and Edukits are entirely self-taught.”
The workshops have been a summer holiday hit for Wagga’s budding programmers and nine-year-old Amelia Stanton is a big fan.
“I like doing it because it’s fun and it’s good to play around with,” she said.
Amelia has only participated in two workshops but is already capable of designing 3D models and coding basic programs, with colourful results.
“We did a program to make the most annoying noises, that was a really good one,” she said.
The programming workshops are taking pole position in Michael’s life, but with a talent like his and a Silicon Valley trip beckoning, the sky is truly the limit.