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For Immediate Release
ComEd Media Relations
STEM influencer Dr. Kate Biberdorf and ComEd engineers lead instruction in new five-month educational series
CHICAGO (Oct. 23, 2020) – To safely bring STEM education to students during the COVID-19 pandemic, ComEd is launching ComEd STEM Home Labs, its first-ever virtual program to provide Chicagoland students with STEM engagement at home. ComEd engineers developed the program in collaboration with university professor and STEM influencer Dr. Kate Biberdorf. The series kicks off on Saturday, Oct. 24, for 100 students, ages 13-17, from across Chicago-area communities.
Continuing ComEd's longstanding investment in STEM engagement for Chicago-area youth, this new program inspires students to advance their confidence, knowledge and career paths in STEM through hands-on experiments in a year where many extracurricular programs are on hold. By exciting young women and students of color about careers in science, technology, engineering and math, ComEd STEM Home Labs will encourage them to pursue jobs in STEM.
"Women, African Americans and Latinos remain underrepresented in STEM fields," said ComEd CEO Joe Dominguez. "To help address this challenge at a time when many students are learning remotely, we've created ComEd STEM Home Labs to ensure our STEM programs can continue this year. We're proud to provide a much-needed hands-on experience with our engineers for local students looking to expand their interest in STEM."
ComEd STEM Home Labs is a five-month series, with each month featuring a new project focused on the principles and application of solar energy, electricity and circuitry. Students will tune into their virtual "lab" one Saturday a month, October through February, and complete their projects in real-time alongside their peers, guided by ComEd mentors and Dr. Kate. Prior to each session, students will receive their STEM Home Lab kits in a custom package, complete with materials and instructions tailored to each project to ensure all students can follow along at the same pace.
For the first project, students will build a solar-powered plant growing station that they can use to cultivate plants indoors during the winter. Each project will build successively upon the previous session's knowledge base and skills, culminating in the creation of a Rube Goldberg machine incorporating all that the students have learned.
For more than seven years, ComEd has provided year-round programming to engage the next generation of local STEM talent and increase diversity in those fields, including the ComEd Solar Spotlight events during Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month, and the ComEd Icebox Derby for Chicagoland girls each summer. ComEd STEM Home Labs serves as a new avenue for communities underrepresented in STEM fields to power the future.
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