Kao Data has launched the Kao Academy – a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) resource, designed to engage primary and early secondary school-aged children with the purpose and role of a data centre.
Created in collaboration with the Cambridge Science Centre, the Kao Academy will help teach children aged seven to 11 about the role of a data centre, how they are designed, engineered and constructed, and explain both their importance and relevance to our everyday lives.
Delivered via an interactive website, the Kao Academy provides users with several dedicated resources, including a live ‘data-crunching’ game, a downloadable ‘how-to’ pack which children can download to build their own data centre, as well as educational videos on how Kao Data’s award-winning KLON-1 facility in Harlow was constructed. Participants can also download additional e-learning resources to learn and play and take part in a competition to get creative and design their own data centre, potentially winning £150 of LEGO and earning a special visit to the Kao Data campus in Harlow.
Encouraging STEM 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. Through the Kao Academy, Kao Data aims to engage the next generation of technology enthusiasts at Key Stage 2 level and encourage them to take an active interest in science and engineering, potentially even leading to some children pursuing future careers within the data centre industry.
The data centre skills shortage has long been hailed as one of the industry’s most significant challenges and in 2021, the Uptime Institute estimated staff requirements within the sector would grow to almost 2.3 million by 2025. STEM subjects have long been synonymous with the data centre industry and children who excel in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are expected to play a key role in both the growth of the UK digital economy and the country’s future.
“Data centres 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 inter-communication and were fundamental in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Adam Nethersole, Vice President, Kao Data. “Despite all of this, general understanding and appreciation of data centres is surprisingly low. Starting with children, and through the Kao Academy, our mission is to drive greater awareness of data centres, their crucial role, and showcase the people who design, build, and operate them.”