This summer, 30 young women from the Chicago area will build both high-tech race cars and pathways to their futures in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. Girls can now apply for the sixth annual ComEd Icebox Derby, a competition that challenges teens from across Chicagoland to transform recycled refrigerators into electric and solar-powered race cars.
Applications are available at www.iceboxderby.com. The application period will close on Friday, June 7 and is open to any female Illinois resident between the ages of 13 and 18.
Each participant will receive a $1,500 scholarship for completing the program. They will work alongside ComEd mentors to build a fridge car and learn about practical applications of STEM in daily life and STEM career options. The competition will culminate with a once-in-a-lifetime experience as participants race their electric- and solar-powered fridge cars at Daley Plaza in Chicago on Saturday, August 3.
“We’ve got to engage and empower young women to continue their STEM studies and see opportunities available to them down the road,” said Joe Dominiguez, chief executive officer of ComEd. “Through the Icebox Derby, these young women work alongside women at ComEd who are leaders and have built their own STEM careers, and [will] learn about the paths they are taking. We hope to inspire them to come back and work for us someday.”
This summer, nearly 10 percent of former Icebox Derby participants will work at ComEd as interns.
ComEd launched the Icebox Derby six years ago to educate and empower young women to explore careers in STEM and to become the innovative workforce of the future. In addition to powering homes, businesses and institutions across Illinois, ComEd continues to lead the conversation on the value of science and technology education. Women make up 49 percent of the workforce, yet they make up only 26 percent of jobs in STEM-related fields in Illinois, according to a study by the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition.
Find out more about the program by visiting www.iceboxderby.com.