Corporate Responsibility award entry

Inspiration:

Hughes Network Systems, a recognized global leader in satellite communications technology, continues to inspire the next generation of innovators through its corporate social responsibility program focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education.

With data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showing that occupations related to STEM are projected to grow 13 percent between 2012 and 2022, faster than the 11 percent projected for all occupations over the same period*, HughesNet recognized the need to proactively prepare the next generation for the careers of tomorrow.

In its quest to promote STEM education, HughesNet joined forces with National 4-H Council— one of the most enduring names in youth development and a fixture in America for more than 100 years—to develop a collaborative  multi-touch program that extends hands-on STEM education and equal access to quality STEM resources for youth based in rural and suburban areas.

4-H is one of the largest youth development organizations in the United States, with 500,000 trained volunteers, over 3,000 4-H professionals and a network of 25 million alumni. Its membership of nearly 6 million participants encompass ruraland suburban youth.

 

Strategy:

In conjunction with National 4-H Council, HughesNet developed a strategy to amplify STEM learning through local, regional and national campaigns and hands-on initiatives. These events were designed to promote participation from youth, no matter where they live, while also driving significant digital social media visibility and engagement.

 

Program Overview:

HughesNet and National 4-H Council’s developed a series of programs aimed at promoting hands-on participation, concrete learning objectives and social media sharing. While also contributing to program ideation, HughesNet provided funding, personnel and access to its facilities in Maryland. HughesNet and 4-H promoted programs through their respective social media and web properties for additional program awareness, and HughesNet also promoted 4-H and STEM with more than 70 million direct mail pieces distributed to prospective customers across the country.

Program highlights include:

STEM Lab – HughesNet and National 4-H Council launched STEM Lab to inspire the next generation of scientists. A free resource to parents and teachers, STEM Lab is an online hub offering fun, hands-on STEM activities developed by top public universities and 4-H groups to spark kids’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Raise Your Hand for STEM – HughesNet sponsored a national social media campaign to drive increased awareness for STEM education and greater participation in the annual 4-H National Youth Science Day. Participants voted for their states and shared the campaign through social channels. Each of the 10 states with the most votes received 100 National Youth Science Day kits, which helped engage over 10,000 kids across the country. The program yielded 3 million branded impressions, 25,824 landing page visits, 9,017 votes, 15,339 post engagements, and doubled positive sentiment on HughesNet social media platforms.

Youth in Action for STEM – HughesNet sponsors this 4-H award that recognizes one of the organization’s outstanding members in STEM, one of the four “pillars” that represent 4-H’s core areas of interest. HughesNet is the founding sponsor of the STEM pillar award (2016), which recognizes a remarkable 4-H’er who demonstrates personal growth, community impact and project excellence. The annual winner receives a $5,000 scholarship for higher education, serves as a yearlong STEM ambassador and gets an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C

 

4-H National Youth Science Day – National Youth Science Day is an annual nationwide event, sponsored in part by HughesNet since 2014, for over 100,000 youth from across the country in over 1,000 events each year. Young innovators from our partnership events win all-expenses-paid trips to the flagship event, the world’s largest youth-led science experiment.

 

Summer Camp STEM Experiences – HughesNet awarded $10,000 science sponsorships to eleven states (NY, DE, PA, WI, AL, WV, GA, CO, KY, TN, and MO) to provide STEM programming and education at 4-H summer camps. More than 6,800+ youth participated in activities to develop STEM-related skills and increase their understanding of STEM’s applicability in solving community issues. This has been done for four years in a row since 2014.

Raise your Hand for 4-H – A social media campaign to encourage 4-H alumni and supporters to “raise their hands” for 4-H. The state with the most hands raised received a $10,000 “Tech Takeover Day” science sponsorship from HughesNet. More than 8,000 people joined HughesNet in Raising Their Hand for 4-H.

4-H GROWN Alumni Campaign – An interactive campaign that helped re-connect 4-H alumni to the organization by inviting the estimated 25 million 4-H alumni across the U.S. to check in at www.4-H.org/4HGROWN and tag friends to win a $10,000 “Innovation Incubator” science scholarship for hometown youth. Over 13,500 people checked in, including eight members of Congress and famous country musician Jennifer Nettles.

National Engineering Week – An annual career day experience for more than 40 aspiring 4-H engineers which included tours of a Hughes manufacturing plant and the Hughes network operation center (NOC) in Maryland. Youth had opportunities to see hands-on work by Hughes engineers and then demonstrate their own STEM projects.

Inspire a Future Scientist Video Contest – This nationwide contest invited young people ages 13-19 to answer the question, “Why do you love science?” Eighty-four videos were submitted. The finalists’ videos were posted to the 4-H website. Three winners were chosen via online voting. Winners received cash prizes, trips to National Youth Science Day in Washington, D.C., in October 2014, and 4-H Rockets to the Rescue science kits.

STEM Education at County Fairs – HughesNet and 4-H representatives attended five state fairs held in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Alabama, West Virginia and Georgia. Visitors to the 4-H booths had the opportunity for hands-on engagement in STEM through 4-H’s Rocket to the Rescue National Youth Science Day experiment.

National Maker’s Summit – Hughes engineer Karl Fosburg and fellow STEM career panelists led youth through an exploration of America’s STEM workforce at the 4-H National Youth Maker Summit. The youth also had opportunities to develop their resourcefulness and creativity by working with a variety of materials from a range of fields.

 

 

Measuring Success:

Hughes’ goals were to extend the message of STEM’s importance to youth, ignite their passion through hands-on participation, and work jointly with  4-H to extend its reach even further. Results from the programs and ensuing social media coverage validates that the local, regional and national events expanded awareness of STEM among 4-H youth, motivated them to consider it as a career option, and bolstered 4-H’s efforts to expand STEM education.

 

Each program showed impact, and program success is particularly demonstrated through STEM  summer camps. Before the STEM camp experience, only 25% of campers expressed an interest in STEM-related activities. By the end of camp, 90% of the campers noted that they were interested in learning more about STEM-related subjects.

 

“I wasn’t that interested in science in middle school, but I got into it in high school. At camp, we got to do a forensics activity. The kids really got into it and it was great to be able to feed off that energy. It made me want to look into science a lot more,” said a young woman who attended one of the STEM summer camps.

Impact:

The events HughesNet and 4-H conducted together has provided hands-on STEM content to more than 100,000 youth across the country. The partnership has also provided more than $100,000 to be used by local 4-H organizations to support their STEM curriculum (confidential).

Supplemental Link: https://vimeo.com/146699569

 

Innovation:

While helping to inspire the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, HughesNet also saw a sharp increase in social media engagement, a more positive tone and higher subscriber rates since launching its 4-H partnership.

 

4-H mentions along with HughesNet delivered 97 percent positive responses online. Overall sentiment improved 12 percent from its launch in 2014 through 2017.

 

Hughes has attracted 21 percent more social media followers since partnering with 4-H. Facebook likes increased 39 percent and Twitter followers grew 27 percent. The increase in social media engagement equates to 425 million earned media impressions and 900 million social media impressions. Additionally, order rates on co-branded materials have increased by as much as 38% since January 2014. Inclusion of the 4-H partnership in HughesNet acquisition materials improved response rate, generating more subscribers to the service.

[pdf-embedder url=”https://thepeerawards.com/wp-content/uploads/formidable/198/Peer-Award-Supplemental-Assets-2018-Peer-Awards-v2.pdf”]

The events HughesNet and 4-H conducted together has provided hands-on STEM content to more than 100,000 youth across the country. The partnership has also provided more than $100,000 to be used by local 4-H organizations to support their STEM curriculum (confidential).

While helping to inspire the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, HughesNet also saw a sharp increase in social media engagement, a more positive tone and higher subscriber rates since launching its 4-H partnership.

 

4-H mentions along with HughesNet delivered 97 percent positive responses online. Overall sentiment improved 12 percent from its launch in 2014 through 2017.

 

Hughes has attracted 21 percent more social media followers since partnering with 4-H. Facebook likes increased 39 percent and Twitter followers grew 27 percent. The increase in social media engagement equates to 425 million earned media impressions and 900 million social media impressions. Additionally, order rates on co-branded materials have increased by as much as 38% since January 2014. Inclusion of the 4-H partnership in HughesNet acquisition materials improved response rate, generating more subscribers to the service.

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