Tom Ferree Welcomes Kids and Parents
Mike Montgomery Provides Overview of COT
GIS Demonstrations During Kid's Day
Brad Watkins Gives Tour of Data Center
Kids and Parents Enjoying Refreshments
On April 28, 2005, the Commonwealth Office of Technology (COT) hosted "Take Your Child to Work Day" and welcomed children of employees to their parents' workplace to see what it's like to work at COT. The day provided a unique opportunity for COT to reach younger students, and encourage their interest in technology and a possible career in state government.
Children began their day in their parent's office, experiencing first-hand how mom or dad perform their job while at work. After lunch, a special program for both children and parents was hosted at the Cold Harbor data center. The afternoon program focused on technology, but was designed to be both fun and educational for the children who varied in age from six to 17. Although the total number of kids participating in all COT office locations wasn't available, at least a dozen children were able to take part in the data center's afternoon program.
Tom Ferree, executive director of the Office of Enterprise IT Policy and Planning, opened the program by welcoming the children and their parents to the data center and thanking them for participating in the program. Ferree introduced Mike Montgomery, director of the Division of Centers of Expertise, who provided an overview of COT's organization using language and terminology the smaller children could understand. Montgomery also demonstrated a special "kid's pages" section of the Kentucky.gov Web site that helps children use their own interests to explore possible career opportunities.
Montgomery was followed by Gary Harp and Kent Anness, who conducted an impressive demonstration of Kentucky's Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, much of which is available on the Internet at home. Harp displayed his favorite GIS animation, which simulates a flight from outer space to roof-top level in Lexington in just a couple of minutes. Afterward, Anness displayed a number of "cool" GIS mapping tools and described how GIS maps and aerial photographs contain separate layers of detailed information that can be displayed or hidden depending on what the visitor is seeking. The children and parents were dazzled as Anness used other GIS software to zoom down to a "bird's eye" aerial view of the Frankfort home of one of the children.
Following the GIS demonstration, the children and their parents were escorted on a tour of the data center by Brad Watkins, director of the Division of Communications. Watkins took the visitors from the basement to the top floor, stopping to see the sights at various locations throughout the building. In the basement, they were able to see some of the impressive collection of machinery and equipment that keeps the data center's electrical power flowing smoothly. They marveled at the massive array of batteries that supply temporary power in the event of an electrical power failure. From there, they went upstairs to view some of the powerful enterprise servers and data storage systems that handle the large-scale computing requirements of state government.
No successful children's program is complete without refreshments, so to everyone's delight the afternoon program concluded with snacks. Marsha Rucker of COT's HR office served cupcakes and punch for both the children and their parents. The informal conclusion allowed the children and parents to get to know each other a little better before they headed home for the day.
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