Alistair Grant's blog

Outreach: Planes, zombies, chickens and bean bags

Author: Alistair Grant
Posted: 10 Apr 2018 | 09:15

Zombie Chickens - Attributed to B Zedan (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 - https://www.flickr.com/photos/bzedan/960200896/)Wait a minute – isn't this a blog article for EPCC ? One of the premier HPC centres in Europe, where are zombies and bean bags coming from?

Frequent readers of our blog may have twigged that this is another article about our outreach efforts at EPCC. A few weeks ago we were in Birmingham for the Big Bang Fair 2018 (one of the largest science events  for schools held in the UK) and at the beginning of April, EPCC was once again part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

A two-way street

Author: Alistair Grant
Posted: 12 Oct 2017 | 13:01

For four days EPCC staff Alistair, Ben, Gordon, Jo, Mario and Weronika were on hand at New Scientist Live 2017 in the London ExCel with activities and knowledge about ARCHER and other areas of high performance and scientific computing. It is not the first event we have taken our wares to, nor hopefully will it be the last but it is the first large-scale general public event we have been at in London.

Setting up your own Raspberry Pi cluster

Author: Alistair Grant
Posted: 27 Apr 2017 | 14:53

Wee Archie: a wee bit of history

Wee ARCHIE Blue with Toy Pig Visitor

Some time ago (actually 2015), EPCC built a Raspberry Pi cluster called Wee Archie to demonstrate some of the principles behind a full-sized supercomputer. We designed the cluster to be portable as we can't carry around a real supercomputer and just looking at a laptop "connected" to some remote system isn't that engaging.

Getting Wee Archie online: configuring a cluster for network access

Author: Alistair Grant
Posted: 29 Apr 2016 | 14:42

8x8 LED Matrix Connected to Raspberry Pi

At the tail end of last year, the EPCC Outreach team launched Wee Archie, a Raspberry Pi cluster designed to demonstrate parallel concepts and the type of work that is carried out on supercomputers such as ARCHER. Since the launch, Wee Archie has travelled around the UK including to Oxford, Birmingham and Dundee.

Introducing Wee Archie

Author: Alistair Grant
Posted: 26 Nov 2015 | 15:29

 

The EPCC Outreach team is always looking for new ways to introduce supercomputing to a general audience. Remote connections to ARCHER could be used, but how would audiences know what is happening? Is it really running on a remote system or is it faked? Enter Wee Archie: a portable, functional cluster developed by EPCC to demonstrate applications and concepts relating to parallel systems. 

PERICLES VII: The Borås Encounter

Author: Alistair Grant
Posted: 30 May 2015 | 14:17

The PERICLES project has been running for just over two years now. Its goal is a lofty one - to ensure that today's digital data and art can be preserved for use in the future. Sounds dead easy, no?

A Day (or five) in the Museum

Author: Alistair Grant
Posted: 25 May 2015 | 11:38

explaining the hardware of a supercomputerDid you visit a museum over the Easter break? What did you find? Did you see dinosaurs or supercomputers? Did you solve the puzzle of the Towers of Hanoi? If you were at the National Museum of Scotland, you may have done all of these things in one place.

What do you want to be?

Author: Alistair Grant
Posted: 25 Nov 2014 | 10:03

When you were young, what did you want to be when you got older? It can be easy to become blasé about repetitive answers that children can come up with, but how much of that is our fault as adults? Do we provide enough information about the range of possible careers and jobs available?

Prestonfield Primary in Edinburgh has no intention of this by the looks of things, having organised a careers fair for their P1-P6 classes.

Skills for the future: learning from the past

Author: Alistair Grant
Posted: 24 Oct 2014 | 09:27

Getting young people interested in science, hopefully with a long term view to getting them involved in future science or science-influenced careers, is an important part of doing public outreach. EPCC has being doing this for a little while now, but we are still finding our feet. A lot of our contacts with schools come through personal contacts or connections with children in the school. St Marys Primary, which my eldest niece attends, was keen to have family members of pupils talk about what they do and the subjects they are involved with in a 'Skills for the Future' week. This was a great opportunity to help the school using some of the exhibits we have already got and some new activities being worked on. 

STEM Ambassadors at EPCC

Author: Alistair Grant
Posted: 25 Jun 2014 | 10:21

What is a STEM Ambassador?

This is a UK-wide scheme to encourage young people to take up STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. A STEM Ambassador is someone who works in a STEM-related field and has an enthusiasm for talking about and demonstrating their work to young people to inspire them to take up STEM-related subjects. STEM Ambassadors are all volunteers who join the programme to share their knowledge and appreciation of the subjects they work in.

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