Usk Code Club marks first Anniversary with visit to National Supercomputing Hub


HPC Wales’ Cardiff Hub welcomed its first group of Code Club students today.

Usually held in Usk Church in Wales Primary School, the Code Club currently has 13 members from Key Stage 2 and is run by Dr James Osborne, a computer scientist who works for High Performance Computing (HPC) Wales.

With some students within the group moving on to high school later this year, HPC Wales and the Advanced Research Computing Department at Cardiff University, have hosted a special edition of the weekly Code Club. Children had the chance to take a tour around the national supercomputing network’s Cardiff-based Hub, speak with members of the HPC Wales and ARCCA teams, and see for themselves the difference in size between the components that make up a desktop computer and a supercomputer.

The event also offered the children an opportunity to see the variety of projects that can be powered by supercomputing technology, from research and testing for personalised medicine to aiding the development of the world’s first 1,000mph car.

Code Club is a charity established to inspire children to pursue activities within the technology sector. It works through connecting computer programmers with local school children, to help them develop valuable life skills such as problem solving and logical thinking.

Dr James Osborne, volunteer for Code Club and computer programmer at HPC Wales, said:

“I am delighted to be able to play a role in the education of the next generation of computer programmers and inspiring them to consider a career in the technology industry.

“What you tend to find is that children today are so surrounded by technology it becomes almost ubiquitous, and they have little idea of what goes on behind the scenes of the apps or programmes that they are playing with. I love being able to help heighten their interest, and see the ideas they come up with.

“We are experiencing a lack of STEM graduates in the workplace, and it is important to encourage children’s natural curiosity about technology early on in their education in order to rectify this for future generations.”

Rick Hillum, CEO at High Performance Computing (HPC) Wales, said:

“Being a STEM employer, we are only too aware of the need to encourage more people to join our industry. I am keen that HPC Wales be involved in programmes such as Code Club that encourage children to experiment with technology at an early age and inspire the next generation of technology wizards.”