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Countdown Begins as 30 Young Women Build Electric Racecars for ComEd EV Rally

ComEd engineers work with teens to build EVs, inspire them to pursue STEM careers

CHICAGO (July 22, 2022) – The excitement is building – literally – as 30 young women begin to build electric vehicles (EVs) and gear up for race day at the inaugural ComEd EV Rally to be held on August 6 at the Museum of Science and Industry. Young women across Chicagoland applied and were selected to participate in this exciting opportunity to learn about EVs and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) principles and connect with female STEM mentors. The ComEd EV Rally is designed to promote STEM education for girls and to foster curiosity among the next generation of STEM leaders.  

"We're excited to bring back a hands-on experience to promote better representation of women in STEM," said Gil Quiniones, CEO of ComEd. "We will need this next generation of STEM leaders to develop and implement new technologies as we move into a clean energy future for all and fight the effects of climate change. We hope that, by participating in the ComEd EV Rally, these young women will be inspired to follow a STEM career path."

"Having the opportunity to participate in an interactive STEM event like the EV Rally can help solidify a young woman's path into a STEM career," said Vanessa Nieto, associate engineer at ComEd. "In 2017, I was lucky to participate in the ComEd Icebox Derby, the predecessor of the EV Rally. Prior to this experience, I had planned to be a math teacher, but seeing my team's car on race day completely opened my eyes to a new possibility. The exposure to real-world STEM applications, the support from ComEd mentors and the motivational guest speakers encouraged me to pursue an exciting career in engineering, and I'm very glad I did."

Participating students will work with ComEd women engineers over four build days to assemble high-tech racecars as they simultaneously explore career pathways in STEM. The build days will culminate on Saturday, Aug. 6, when the girls will race the cars on the campus of the Museum of Science and Industry. To further inspire STEM interest among girls in Chicagoland, ComEd is giving away 500 tickets to the Museum of Science and Industry for local girls and their families to use on race day.

EVs are expected to play an increasing role in a clean energy future that promotes cleaner air in the communities where rally participants and their families live. As part of a plan submitted to state regulators earlier this month, ComEd proposed to commit $100 million annually over the next three years to promote beneficial electrification, including programs to support customer adoption of EVs.

The ComEd EV Rally build days and race day will be a forum for the participants to meet new friends and like-minded peers who are also interested in STEM, while providing participants exposure to inspiring female leaders and mentors working in STEM careers.

Illinois residents between the ages of 13 and 18 were eligible to apply for the program. In addition to connecting these young women to ComEd mentors and gaining STEM knowledge, each of the 30 young women who were selected to participate will receive a $2,000 scholarship upon completing the program.

Today, women make up 50 percent of the workforce, yet hold only 27 percent of jobs in STEM-related fields in Illinois, according to a study by the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition. To increase the diversity of STEM fields, ComEd supports STEM education and technology initiatives that help keep communities vibrant and develop a workforce of the future that reflects the diverse communities it serves.

ComEd's commitment to encouraging young women to pursue STEM education continues throughout the year. ComEd hosts a variety of STEM programs including, Energy Action Team, STEM Never Stops, STEM HomeLabs and Youth Ambassadors.

The EV Rally is an evolution of the longstanding ComEd Icebox Derby, which ComEd launched in 2014 to educate and empower young women to explore careers in STEM and become the innovative workforce of the future. ComEd Icebox Derby participants transformed old, inefficient refrigerators into solar-enhanced racecars. Like the ComEd EV Rally, participants were teamed up with ComEd mentors to assemble and race the cars.

Find out more about the program by visiting ComEdEVRally.com.

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ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


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