Dataseam Advances Kentucky Education and Research

Dataseam is a catalyst for change in education that supports Kentucky workers, schools and research institutions as they strive to be among the most competitive in the nation.

Stephanie Vozza
On Friday, April 27, 2012 - 05:01

A unique initiative is putting more technology into Kentucky schools and also allowing researchers access to vast computing power.

Dataseam is a catalyst for change in education that supports Kentucky workers, schools and research institutions as they strive to be among the most competitive in the nation.

Dataseam focuses on economic development with next-generation research and industry creation and workforce development. We are committed to doing our part to build capacity for the future,” says Dataseam founder and CEO Brian Gupton.

The Kentucky state legislature has designated part of the state’s coal tax to support education and economic development in coal producing counties. Some of those dollars, and a $2 million grant from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, have helped Dataseam provide more than 15,000 computers to 48 school districts, primarily in eastern Kentucky. The school computers are linked together into one of the nation’s largest computing grids to support cutting-edge research at state universities.

Dataseam Enhances Cancer Research

Today, Dataseam computers bring powerful computing capacity to the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, which boasts the nation’s largest pipeline of potential cancer drugs. The Dataseam grid helps researchers shave years and dollars off of the drug-discovery process and in part allowed the center to grow its cancer targets (for chemotherapy treatment) from eight to 80.  

With the expanded capacity, university researchers identified 26 targeted compounds for potential cancer-treatment drugs, licensed three for further research and anticipate one drug using these methods to advance to human trials in 2012.

Dataseam is deeply committed to educating students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines and is doing its part to ensure a workforce is in place to fill the jobs of the future – jobs in health care, energy, medical research and computer sciences.

With its education partner Morehead State University, Dataseam works to change the way teachers use technology in the classroom to prepare students for new opportunities and advanced careers.

Morehead State produces 90 percent of the teachers in eastern Kentucky. The university and Dataseam have collectively trained more than 5,000 educators.

“With just under 45,000 educators in the state, over 5,000 educators who have taken the time to improve their skills through Dataseam training are transforming Kentucky’s workforce,” Gupton says. “We are ready to be a part of making Kentucky the most competitive state in the nation for job creation and education.”

The technology provided by Dataseam supports the change from the “stand and deliver” teaching model of the past to the facilitator method in today’s classrooms, says Robbie Fletcher, principal in the Martin County School System.

“It’s more of a professional learning community rather than a simple classroom, especially because of the integration of technology,” Fletcher says. “From the students you see more enthusiasm and creativity with a digital storytelling-type project. They become more involved.”

Teacher Training Improves Technology Use

Teacher workshops, embedded professional-development programs, industry-standard professional certifications, student projects and college scholarships all help create a different way of teaching and advance learning environments in the state, says G. Henry Hunt, Dataseam chief operating officer.

“More graduates in these disciplines are critical to Kentucky’s economic competitiveness, and these scholarships are a way for Dataseam to open the doors of opportunity for Kentucky kids,” Hunt says.