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25 March, 2021 - 13:54 By Tony Quested

Kao Data joins top table of Cambridge Science Centre STEM initiative

Kao Data, which develops and operates advanced data centres for high performance colocation, has signed a three-year funding agreement with Cambridge Science Centre and will become a member of its executive council.

The project aims to help bridge the digital divide in East Anglia and beyond, providing access to technology and resources that will encourage more seven-to-eleven year olds into science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

Cambridge Science Centre, an independent, educational charity, provides engaging online and hands-on science and technology experiences to ignite the scientific curiosity of 7–11-year-olds, their families, carers, friends and teachers. 

Its range of immersive STEM curriculum-based initiatives offers children access to videos, shows, magazines and workshops, as well as both physical and virtual experiences. 

These unique experiences are designed to provide exciting content at a key development stage. The Science Centre also plays a crucial role in providing access to digital and hard-copy physical resources to disadvantaged communities to help encourage more young people into the technology, engineering and scientific sectors. 

According to The Learning & Work Institute, the number of young people taking IT subjects at GCSE level has dropped by 40 per cent since 2015 and with digital demands accelerating at an unprecedented rate the UK technology sector is now at a crucial point where dynamic change must be made to encourage more young people to pursue careers in IT and STEM. 

As part of its corporate social responsibility strategy, Kao Data aims to drive greater awareness of the data centre industry and is taking a pioneering approach that fosters a greater understanding of the importance of ‘mission-critical’ digital infrastructure.

KAO Data has an in-demand centre in Harlow and is a sponsor of the Business Weekly Awards. NVIDIA and Arm are basing the maiden Cambridge1 supercomputer there.

CEO Lee Myall said: “Now, more than ever, data centres are built into the very fabric of our everyday lives. During the pandemic they have not only provided infrastructure to drive vaccine research and development, but have enabled us to work from home, stay connected and be entertained. 

“We are extremely proud to be associated with Cambridge Science Centre and to work with an organisation that does so much to encourage children’s enthusiasm for STEM at a national level. 

“Together we can work to highlight the role data centres play in society and inspire the next generation of technology talent within the UK Innovation Corridor.” 

Helen Slaski, CEO, Cambridge Science Centre said: “We are really delighted to welcome Kao Data to our Executive Council. It’s a challenging time for everyone involved in science in the UK right now, and, with the fundamental changes in children’s education over the last year, our work has taken on a whole new level of significance.

“With data being a key to most innovations, centres such as Kao Data have been absolutely pivotal to our ability to stay connected and progress. We are looking forward to working with Lee and his team on this incredible opportunity and to continue to bring amazing, accessible and exciting STEM engagement to children across our region.”

According to the Engineering UK 2020 report, today there is a widespread lack of awareness about engineering; with 47 per cent of eleven-to-nineteen year olds stating they knew little or ‘almost nothing’ about what engineers do. 

By engaging the hearts and minds of children at both primary and secondary school levels, and by supporting initiatives that directly encourage more people into the STEM industries, Kao Data will showcase the people and cutting-edge technology that powers the UK’s data centre industry.

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