This is the last week for 30 Chicago area teenage girls to prepare for ComEd’s Icebox Derby (IBD) competition.
ComEd launched the program four years ago as an opportunity for Chicago students to educate and empower young women to explore areas in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
For three weeks participants worked to transform old refrigerators from ComEd’s Fridge and Freezer Recycling program into solar-powered racecars.
Working with ComEd mentors, the six teams prepare as they assemble and decorate their racing machines, and on race day, Saturday, Aug. 12. They will put their fridge cars to the test on a make shift race track at Daley Plaza to win the STEM Cup, scholarships and other prizes.
“Through programs like the Icebox Derby we aim to help the young people in our communities see the STEM career opportunities before them,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO of ComEd. “We need tomorrow’s talent – those who will help us advance systems, technologies and find digital solutions for our customers. By helping to nurture and grow these future STEM stars, we are intentionally developing our workforce of the future.”
Last year’s championship team, Radiant Flames took the 2016 top honors and each team member received $1,500 each in scholarship awards.
This year, participating teams include Blue Quest, Orange Flare, Green Galaxy, Violet Vortex, Teal Turbo and Yellow Spark. Each team includes five students along with three experienced ComEd mentors per group. Mentors carry backgrounds in engineering design, solar energy and technology specialists.
More than 230 girls applied online to join the 2017 IBD program. Each Icebox Derby contestant will receive a scholarship for completing the program and the first-place winners in the 2017 race will receive a laptop/notebook and an additional $1,500 scholarship.
The finals will take place Saturday, August 12 at Daley Plaza, where teams will compete and be cheered on by family and spectators. The start time is 3pm at and it’s open to the public. Singing sensation and sisters, Chloe and Halle Bailey (Chloe x Halle) will host this fun event. The Youtube stars are signed to Beyonce’s management company, Parkwood Entertainment.