The CHPC Education and Outreach Programme's focus is to create awareness and promote the role High Performance Computing (HPC) plays in the socio-economic development of the country through:
Promoting the role High-end Computing plays in real life situations to schools, tertiary institutions, decision makers and the general public through CHPC facility tours and exhibitions at national and international HPC related conferences.
Providing basic computer hardware and software courses to school learners (Grades 10-12) and educators, mainly from previously disadvantaged schools, to address computer skills shortages and prepare learners for future careers in related fields; organising specialised educator workshops focusing on Information Communication Technology topics related to the school curriculum.
Computer Hardware and Software Course:
The Basic Computer Hardware and Software Course, begun in the year 2009, is a pilot project of the CHPC and supported by the Western Cape Department of Education and the Computer Olympiad South Africa. The main aim of the project is to provide basic computer hardware and software training to learners and educators from previously disadvantaged communities in South Africa with little or no prior knowledge of computers.
The course syllabus covers basic computer concepts: how to built a computer from scratch, installation of an operating system (e.g. Linux), and a basic introduction to Linux (Ubuntu), Open Office and scientific programming languages such as Scratch and Python.
The course comprises roughly 15 days of lectures and one full week of a hands-on introduction to Linux and Scientific Programming. After completion of the course, learners are awarded with certificates and take home as their personal property the computers they would have built.
Since 2009, the CHPC has trained about 29 Grade 11 learners and aims to train at least 40 learners a year depending on availability of resources. The CHPC seeks partners and sponsors to extend the project to national level.
National Science Week:
National Science Week (NSW) is the annual project initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), launched in the year 2005 to promote a greater awareness and appreciation of the contribution that science and technology makes to the nation. The project runs for a period of a week every year and is a countrywide celebration involving various stakeholders and/or role players each conducting activities during the focus week in all nine provinces. The project is funded by the DST and managed nationally by the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA), a business unit of the National Research Foundation (NRF).
Since 2009 the CHPC has participated in the National Science Week Activities in order to promote computational science within schools in the Western Cape and encourage learners at an early stage to consider careers in Science, Engineering and Technology fields. The CHPC's on-site activities involve an overview of CHPC technical and research activities; presentations by scientists, engineers and technologists; a DVD show of Applications of High Performance Computing, CSIR careers and Cosmic Collisions; a Three Dimensional (3D) Visualization show and Advanced Computer Engineering (ACE) Laboratory demonstrations; and a visit to CHPC data centre.
CHPC Facility Tour:
The CHPC outreach programme provides the opportunity for schools, tertiary institutions, decision makers, and general public to visit the CHPC for a facility tour. Tour activities include an overview presentation about the CHPC, a 3D Visualization Demonstration and visits to the ACE Laboratory and CHPC Data Centre. The minimum requirement for a tour arrangement is a group of at least 20 people. Tours take place during the following times: Monday to Friday: 9:00–16:00 and Saturday: 9:30-13:00.
For more information and opportunities for collaboration contact:
Dr. DM Moeketsi
Tel.: 021 658 3961
Fax: 021 658 2744