Kao Data debuts datacentre education program for seven-to-11-year-olds

Kao Data has set his sights on educating primary and early secondary school-aged children about what data centers are, as part of a push to teach kids about the important role played by server farms in our everyday lives.

The Harlow-based colocation provider, which specializes in the provision of datacentre environments for users of high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) workloads, said the initiative is aimed to engage and educate children from an earlier age about what datacentres are.

The hope is that doing so may encourage some of the scheme’s participants to pursue a career in the data center sector later down the line.

The initiative itself has been named the Kao Academy, and the company has partnered with the educational charity the Cambridge Science Center to design and deliver datacentre-related learning resources that are designed for use by seven-to-11-year-olds.

“The Kao Academy will teach children about the role of a datacentre, how they are designed, engineered and constructed, and explain both their importance and relevance to our everyday lives,” said Kao, in a statement.

“Encouraging STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] education from early years has been proven to be beneficial across the entire spectrum of learning and can influence both a student’s future academic and career choices.”

The Academy’s content will be delivered via an interactive website that will provide participants with the opportunity to download resources that will enable them to build their own data center and watch videos about how Kao built its colocation facility in Harlow.

Participants will also be able to enter a competition to design their own data centre. The prizes up for grabs include the chance to win £150 of Lego and secure a visit to the Kao Data Campus in Harlow.

Kao Data said the initiative is the latest in a long line of actions it has taken to support the science and technology sector, having initially set out to become the colocation provider of choice to the life sciences community.

The company takes its name from Sir Charles Kao, who discovered and pioneered the use of optical fiber technology on the campus where Kao Data’s campus now resides.

“Data centers are today instrumental to our way of life – they underpin many of our daily activities, support our work, entertainment, retail and financial choices, facilitate human intercommunication, and were fundamental in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Adam Nethersole, vice president of Kao Data.

“Despite all of this, general understanding and appreciation of data centers is surprisingly low. Starting with children, and through the Kao Academy, our mission is to drive greater awareness of datacentres, their crucial role, and showcase the people who design, build and operate them.”

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