Two young women from Evanston will be among 30 from across the metro area competing Saturday in the ComEd Icebox Derby program at Daley Plaza in Chicago.
The program encourages girls to pursue science, technology, engineering and math careers by letting them build electric- and solar-powered racecars from recycled refrigerators.
“STEM careers are the fastest growing, both in number of available jobs and salary. This is an opportunity for these teens to gain exposure to STEM fields while having a fun experience racing the cars – and for us at ComEd to work with up-and-coming innovators who may be our future colleagues,” said Terence R. Donnelly, ComEd’s president and COO.
Women are nearly half the nation’s workforce but hold only a quarter of the jobs in STEM-related fields
It’s the fifth year for the Icebox Derby program, which uses refrigerators collected through a ComEd program that picks up customers’ old working refrigerators for free, recycles them in an environmentally responsible way, and pays the customer $50.
The students have been meeting regularly since July 19 and working alongside ComEd mentors to build their cars.
The cars will be equipped with software that provides real-time metrics that help the girls drive more safely and efficiently and monitor their speed and battery voltage.
Each participant will receive a $1,500 scholarship.