iCER is a success at the MSU Science Festival

To quote Brian Malow, a Science Comedian who appeared at the festival, "A science festival is a celebration of science. From the tiniest critters on Earth to the largest bodies in space, and everything in between. It's an opportunity to meet and interact with real scientists. With lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on activities, there's something for everyone."

The 2014 MSU Science Festival was certainly a celebration for iCER and a large success. We kicked off our event on Thursday, April 3rd at 11am in the Engineering building. As we hosted five sessions of "High Performance Computing" for students, teachers, parents, members of the university and the public, a lot of learning and fun took place!

Our tour site was lively with five stations where participants could learn and experience different areas of computation. While some groups took tours through the High Performance Computing Center machine room learning about the supercomputers housed inside, others played games to learn about binary code. A video was played featuring Dreamworks Animation's The Penguins of Madagascar who taught the importance of high performance computing, which had attracted both children and grandparents alike. An iCER Research Specialist displayed an open computer node allowing guests to take a look inside while explaining the different parts. Typically kids are told "don't touch", but iCER ignored that for the Science Festival and had a station fully equipped with screwdrivers and old hard drives ready for the kids to tear open and deconstruct.

It is important to iCER for the participants to take as much out of our tour site as they possibly can. For one child this may be their first time being exposed to this type of science, while the child right next to them may already know this is the career path they want to follow. We gather a well-rounded set of hands-on activities and demonstrations to create an exciting and educational experience.

To see iCER in action at the 2014 MSU Science Festival, check out the video below!

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