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For Immediate Release


ComEd Media Relations


ComEd’s Icebox Derby Showcases Chicagoland STEM Talent and ComEd's Future Workforce

  • Third annual Icebox Derby culminates in a relay race at The Field Museum
  • For the first time, contestants used solar energy to power Derby fridge car features
  • ABC's Black-ish star Yara Shahidi emceed the race


CHICAGO (August 13, 2016) – For the third year in a row, 30 young women from across the Chicagoland area worked together determinedly for weeks to transform old refrigerators into solar-powered race cars. Today, they put the fruits of their labor to the test, racing their derby cars head-to-head with fellow competitors and completing a series of STEM-related challenges to win the Icebox Derby STEM Cup and other fantastic prizes. In an exciting finish, team Radiant Flames was named the official winner and followed by the runners-up Sparkle Effect.

The Icebox Derby is a program that was launched by ComEd in 2014 with participants provided by community partners, ASPIRA, Girls4Science, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, Operation PUSH and the Chicago Urban League. The program is designed to educate and empower young women to explore opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). New to this year's program, the young women, ages 13-18, explored STEM through the scope of renewable energy, building and powering parts of their cars with solar technology. Important lessons in teamwork and safety were also closely tied to this initiative.

"Icebox Derby is one of ComEd's many programs targeted at exciting young people in our communities about the prospects of a future in the energy and technology fields. We are intentionally building our workforce of the future from our neighborhoods and fully expect these young women to come back to us once they have finished their educations. ComEd seeks to offer a state-of-the-art learning experience, incorporating the latest in technology.  This year we added solar panels to the cars to power LED headlamps, the car horns, and a two-way communications system built into the driver's safety helmet," said Anne Pramaggiore, President and CEO of ComEd.

Each Icebox Derby contestant has received a $2,000 scholarship for completing the program. The first place winners, the Radiant Flames, received an additional $1,000 in scholarship funds and a MacBook Air.

Yara Shahidi, star of Black-ish on the ABC®, served as the emcee of the event. Attendees of the Icebox Derby Race Day event included ComEd executives and Icebox Derby team mentors, representatives from participating organizations ASPIRA, Girls4Science, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indian, Operation PUSH and the Chicago Urban League, local business and community leaders and elected officials, as well as an audience of contestants' family and friends and the general public.

Icebox Derby cars are made of old refrigerators from ComEd's Fridge and Freezers Recycling program. Old refrigerators can consume as much as four times more energy than newer models and could cost up to $150 a year in electricity. ComEd's Fridge and Freezer Recycling program will pick up customers old, working fridge or freezer for FREE, recycle it in an environmentally responsible way, plus send the customer a check for $50. For more information about ComEd's fridge recycling program, please visit

If you missed the Icebox Derby race, you can relive the excitement and find out more about the program by visiting Followers can also track the Icebox Derby journey on social media by searching hashtag #HelpGirlsShine.


Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


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