STEM Education Programs


Arkansas’ electric vehicle program was one of the longest-running technology education programs in the electric cooperative nation. The event began in 2003 and the final rally was held in 2017.

“The annual rally grew each year as interest in electric vehicle technology expanded,” said Rob Roedel, manager of corporate communications the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “The students involved were able to take advantage of opportunities to prepare themselves for the future through a well-planned program that was powered by dedicated teachers and the 17 local electric cooperatives in Arkansas.”

According to Roedel, after 14 years of encouraging thousands of students to pursue technology and engineering careers with the program, a decision was made to change courses of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas’ STEM education efforts.

“Beginning in 2018 Arkansas’ electric cooperatives are sponsoring the Arkansas FIRST Robotics Competition to provide a new type of opportunities for students,” he said. “We will work with the program to try and get teams in all 75 Arkansas counties. Additionally, we want to eventually hold four competitions within Arkansas to provide students with maximum exposure to science, math and technology.”

This year’s competition will be held in Little Rock and include approximately 3,500 contestants from all 50 states as well as teams from Canada and Mexico. 

Learn more at Arkansas FIRST.