This summer, 31 girls between the ages of 13 and 18 are building their very own electric cars from recycled refrigerators.
It’s all part of a new competition in Chicago called The Icebox Derby, or the STEM Cup, which was launched by ComEd, Leo Burnett Chicago, Girls4Science, the Chicago Urban League, and the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.
The Icebox Derby is intended to encourage and empower girls to enter STEM fields.
“Women hold only 24% of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) jobs in America,” Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO of ComED, said on the event’s website. “As a STEM company, we believe that just isn’t enough. So we’re doing something about it with the help of some amazing teens.”
Each week, six teams of participants will complete a challenge that builds up to the ultimate electric car. The first week, for instance, challenged the girls to work on the frame, wheels, and transmission. The teams have finished three challenges so far.
After six weeks of hard work, the electric cars will be put to the test in a final race on Aug. 23. The winner will be named the STEM Cup champion, and receive an extra special prize.
Throughout the six-week competition, the girls can tap into the support and experience of ComEd mentors and STEM experts. Every participant will receive a college scholarship.
“We are invested in helping to cultivate the young people who will become the nation’s next generation of innovators,” Pramaggiore said.
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