As part of our CSR strategy, the team has been involved in a range of school outreach activities in Greater Lincolnshire, and beyond.
Some of these activities have converged around environmental sustainability. For example, we have been mentoring a group of Year 9 students at Lincoln Minster School who are taking part in the Go4SET Industrial Cadet Challenge. The students are designing an ‘eco-classroom’ and we have been talking to them about different energy sources, bringing that to life in a tour of our Lincoln Discovery Centre (LDC).
We have also been raising awareness of how digitalisation contributes to climate change. Some of us have been involved in Tomorrow’s Engineers ‘Energy Quest’ activities, which focus on combining renewable and non-renewable energy sources. We were delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to a Climate Change Conference organised by the Geography Department at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Horncastle.
The conference took place in the week that the government announced the closure of schools due to Covid-19. Working with Years 7 and 9, Angela Meah and Tim Chambers highlighted both how digitalisation is contributing to climate change, and how data centres will enable people to remain connected while schools are closed, and many businesses are operating remotely. In a practical activity, students were asked to imagine that they were a group of scientists tasked with the responsibility of identifying the most suitable renewable energy sources at potential sites for a data centre company wishing to reduce its environmental impact.
Diversity & Inclusion
As we are also prioritising the sustainability of our industry from a human resource perspective, we have been rolling out a programme of activities specifically aimed at raising awareness of our industry amongst future generations of technicians and engineers.
March 6-15 was British Science Week, the theme of which was ‘our diverse planet’. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, we thought this was a fantastic opportunity to both acknowledge that people are part of this diversity, and smash stereotypes about who can, and does, work in the digital infrastructure industry.
We were delighted to host a visit from Year 8 girls from Lincoln Priory School . They were given a tour of LDC and got to chat to all our team before rolling up their sleeves and carrying out some experiments which illustrate how heat exchangers and natural convection work – technologies that we are deploying at LDC. We may even have given them some ideas for science experiments they could take back to school!
‘coolDC Girls’ also spoke to a group of young women from Years 10-12 at Lincoln UTC about their individual pathways to the data centre industry. Coming with diverse interests and backgrounds, our message to all these young women was ‘if you can see it, you can be it!’
We have also been involved in careers fairs and panel discussions at colleges and universities in the Midlands and South Yorkshire. Sadly, some events scheduled for the end of March have had to be cancelled/postponed due to Covid-19, as has work experience for Year 10 students at Lincoln UTC. We look forward to welcoming students in November instead.