North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives Recognized for Contributions to STEM Education

North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives were recently honored with the North Carolina Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Center’s annual Business and Industry Award in recognition of our commitment to strengthening science, mathematics and technology education. The video below was developed by the center to highlight our efforts.

Each year, the SMT Center recognizes individuals and organizations whose extraordinary contributions to science, mathematics, and technology education in North Carolina are helping to advance its mission of improving the quality of STEM education for all North Carolina children. Nominations are accepted each fall, and recipients of the awards are honored in the spring at the Celebration of Science, Mathematics and Technology recognizing STEM excellence in North Carolina. More information about each award and past winners can be found on the SMT Center website.

North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives were nominated for the award by the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership, the largest STEM-focused teacher leadership program in the state. Since 2014, electric cooperatives in North Carolina have sponsored and hosted six Kenan Fellows with the goal of providing relevant, real-world professional learning and leadership development to help bridge STEM at work with STEM at school.

Nelle Hotchkiss, senior vice president of Association Services and COO, accepts the Business and Industry Award on behalf of North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives.

Headquartered in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, the SMT Center is a non-profit organization focused on improving education as a means of providing all students in North Carolina with the knowledge and skills to have successful careers, be good citizens and advance the economy of the state. Serving as a broker, facilitator and catalyst for innovation and change in education, the SMT Center celebrates educational excellence in North Carolina and beyond by supporting educators, engaging students and advancing the growing importance of having a STEM-educated workforce.

The SMT Center also believes that STEM is more than Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics—it also encompasses Strategies That Engage Minds through hands-on, active involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education that promotes essential cognitive skills for the 21st century. Learn more about the center and its work at