The Big Bang Fair 2024

11 June 2024

EPCC will be demonstrating the value of high performance computing systems, including ARCHER2, the UK's National Supercomputing Service, at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham this month.

Schoolchildren at the EPCC stand at BBF 2023

Above: visitors to the EPCC stand at BBF last year.

Running from 19–21 June at the NEC in Birmingham, the Big Bang Fair gives us a fantastic opportunity to reach large numbers of schoolchildren over three exciting and informative days. Our activities are designed to draw in a wide audience while demonstrating core concepts in computing. We are especially interested in reaching those who may not have an initial interest in computing and aim to convince young people that STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) careers are within their reach. 

Meet Wee Archie

Our refreshed mini supercomputer Wee Archie will be back for another year, offering a hands-on demonstration of computer simulation by letting visitors design an aeroplane wing. As well as LED displays showing the activity of each node, users can now scale simulations across a range of nodes, showing the impact of parallel scaling. To complement this, we will once again bring hardware boards from various supercomputing services hosted by EPCC, alongside a standard PC motherboard, to show the inner workings of modern high performance computing (HPC) systems. 

We will also have our tried and tested logic puzzles, with a new addition, and will show how fast a computer can solve the same problems! Our popular sorting activity now uses socks (with patterns and colours chosen to support accessibility) as a hands-on demonstration of the concepts of parallelism and scaling. 

Find us at stand 214

Our booth will be staffed by EPCC colleagues with expertise in HPC, data science, astrophysics, and more. If you want to learn more about supercomputing, how it is used, or just want to have fun with some of our demos, come visit us and say hello! 


Big Bang Fair website:

EPCC outreach website:


Dr Darren J. White