Germantown, MD – May 26, 2021 – Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), an innovator in satellite technologies and networks for 50 years, announced today that it has won a Silver Stevie® Award for its HughesNet® corporate social responsibility initiative with National 4-H Council to develop STEM-centric educational programming for 4-H at Home. The standout program from HughesNet, the leading satellite Internet service, and 4-H, America’s largest youth development organization, is designed to inspire and educate the next generation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) leaders through hands-on learning.
When the demand for quality, at-home learning resources skyrocketed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hughes and 4-H quickly mobilized to expand the HughesNet-sponsored STEM Lab and to launch 4-H at Home, a free online platform of over 500 interactive educational activities that all young people can access from home. As a result, 4-H’s year-over-year portal traffic surged to 300%, and 4-H at Home activity downloads grew by 65%, enabling hundreds of thousands of youth to supplement their virtual instruction with activities such as Solar S’mores, DIY Flashlight, and Wonderful Wetlands.
“At HughesNet, we believe it’s absolutely essential for young people to have access to STEM education no matter where they live,” said Peter Gulla, senior vice president at Hughes. “This award speaks volumes to the progress we have made, together with 4-H, in expanding STEM access at a time when maintaining the quality of the next generation’s education, especially in subject areas like STEM, is among our highest priorities.”
Here’s what this year’s Stevie® Award judges had to say about the HughesNet and 4-H program, which was recognized in the Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year category in the 2021 American Business Awards®:
“What stood out was how HughesNet pivoted during the pandemic to provide much needed online access to quality STEM education for children and their families.”
“A great CSR initiative to promote STEM education during the pandemic for children. Online educational activities are extremely important to maintain the learning curve of our youth.”
“Jaw-droppingly useful, audience-centric, engaging content delivered in a simple, easy-to-navigate style with can-do copywriting! I want to share this with every family I know. What a considered and considerate application of corporate strengths to social responsibility. The result is a true partnership between Hughes Network Systems and 4-H, but the real winners are the kids and communities that are better for such great information.”
“A passion for STEM starts at an early age by creating that spark and excitement for a young person that happens through hands-on activities,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4-H Council. “When COVID-19 surged, STEM subjects were among the hardest to teach virtually due to their innate hands-on and interactive nature. Through HughesNet’s support we were able to create the 4-H at Home platform and reach young people with innovative hybrid learning that involves online and hands-on components. We are excited to continue innovating with our hybrid learning model setting the stage for new best practices in positive youth development.”
Since 2014, Hughes has worked with 4-H to help inspire young people’s interest in STEM through engaging, high-quality educational content and STEM-focused initiatives. In addition to supporting STEM Lab, HughesNet is the annual sponsor of the 4-H Youth in Action STEM Pillar Award, which this year recognized Aidan Spencer of Oklahoma for his ardent advocacy of STEM education in his community.
The American Business Awards are the United States’ premier business awards program. All organizations operating in the U.S. are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. Details about The American Business Awards and the list of 2021 Stevie winners are available at www.StevieAwards.com/ABA.