ComEd, short for Commonwealth Edison Company, is the largest electric utility in Illinois and one of the largest in the United States. The company was founded in 1907 and has been providing reliable energy services to customers for over a century. ComEd’s service area covers most of northern Illinois, including the city of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. Today, ComEd serves more than 4 million customers across 11,400 square miles of territory.
But, it didn’t get from 1907 to 2023 by not rolling with the changes. Now, ComEd is not only helping with the EV transition, but working to increase the involvement of young women with science, technology, electronics, and mathematics (STEM) with the latest iteration of a cool summer event.
ComEd recently announced that it is gearing up for Women’s History Month with the latest version of its annual summer program, the ComEd EV Rally. The STEM initiative encourages young women in Illinois to apply and participate in a high-tech go-cart building competition, where they can showcase their skills and race against their peers. This year, ComEd has increased the number of participants to 45 from last year’s 30, providing more opportunities for aspiring female engineers to collaborate with women from ComEd and explore potential career pathways in STEM.
The ComEd EV Rally is now accepting applications from young women in Illinois between the ages of 13 and 18 who are interested in participating in a competition that challenges them to build and race high-tech electric go-carts. The program is designed to encourage young women to explore career pathways in STEM and will provide opportunities for participants to work with women from ComEd.
Applications can be found at ComEdEVRally.com until Thursday, June 1st.
“ComEd is committed to improving the representation of women and people of color in the STEM fields, and we are excited to connect these driven young women with leaders throughout ComEd who are looking to inspire the next generation of the STEM workforce,” said Michelle Blaise, senior vice president of technical services at the company. “The future depends on these STEM leaders to develop and champion clean energy technology, fight the effects of climate change and support transportation electrification—and this program is sure to spark the interest of these young women.”
Selected applicants in the ComEd EV Rally will have the opportunity to work alongside ComEd mentors, collaborate with peers from other communities, and apply their STEM knowledge while building an electric vehicle. The program will conclude with a unique racing experience at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago on July 29th. Upon completion of the program, all participants will receive a $2,000 scholarship.
ComEd knows that the adoption of EVs will play a significant role in creating a cleaner energy future by reducing carbon emissions and air pollution while also creating economic opportunities. ComEd says its proposed multi-year plans aim to promote transportation electrification, which aligns with the state’s goal of having 1 million EVs on Illinois’ roads by 2030. By participating in this program, young women will gain hands-on experience with EVs and learn about the value of zero-emissions vehicles that represent the future of cleaner transportation.
If you’re interested in the event, there’s an upcoming opportunity to meet with them. ComEd representatives will be available at the Chicago Auto Show during Family Day on February 20th to speak with interested participants and accept applications for this exciting summer program. This is a fantastic opportunity for young women to learn about electric vehicles and gain hands-on experience building one while working alongside industry professionals.
Why This Matters
Getting more young women involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields is crucial for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps to address the gender gap that currently exists in these industries. Women are underrepresented in STEM fields, and increasing their participation can help to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
Secondly, by encouraging more young women to pursue careers in STEM, we can tap into a wider pool of talent and ideas. This can lead to new innovations and solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.
Finally, promoting diversity in STEM can also have economic benefits. A more diverse workforce has been shown to increase productivity, creativity, and profitability. By investing in programs that encourage young women to pursue STEM careers, we can help build a stronger economy for everyone.
Overall, getting more young women involved in STEM is essential for creating a more equitable and prosperous future for everybody, including the guys they’ll be working with and the public at large.
But the benefits of this program aren’t all collective. Even on the individual level, parents should consider getting their teenage children involved in events like this one. Participating in a competitive summer project event can be incredibly beneficial for teenagers who are looking to build a more prosperous future. These events provide an opportunity for teenagers to explore their interests and passions while also developing important skills such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and time management.
Competing against other teams or individuals can be a great way for teenagers to push themselves out of their comfort zones and learn how to work under pressure. It can also help them develop resilience and perseverance, which are essential qualities for success in any area of life.
In addition to the personal development benefits, participating in a competitive summer project event can also help teenagers build their resumes and stand out when applying for colleges or jobs in the future. They can demonstrate their ability to take initiative, work collaboratively with others towards a common goal, and achieve results.
Overall, a competitive summer project event is an excellent way for teenagers to gain valuable experience that will benefit them both personally and professionally in the years ahead.
If you’re an Illinoisian and your teenage daughter is interested in STEM, why not take the opportunity to get her involved in ComEd’s Summer of EVs program? It could be a great way for her to gain some valuable experience and make a difference at the same time. Plus, she’ll have fun meeting new people and learning more about electric vehicles!
Featured image: Day three of last year’s event. Image provided by ComEd.
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