Teenage girls encouraged to participate in ComEd’s EV Rally
Teenage girls ages 13 to 18 years old who are interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are encouraged to participate in the ComEd EV Rally.
The EV rally is just one of the programs ComEd has to engage young people in STEM. The goal of the program is to educate and inspire young women. This year, 45 young women will be connected with women engineers to learn about STEM and build Electric-Powered race cars. After the cars are built, there will be a race with nine teams of five girls. All of the girls who participate in the EV Rally will receive a $2,000 scholarship.
"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," Michelle Blaise, senior vice president of technical services at ComEd, said in a release. "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."
Taiwo Ninalowo, with ComEd, said the girls would say the most exciting part about the EV Rally is meeting each other, then racing the cars. The girls come from different parts of ComEd’s service area. The girls are excited to meet other girls in high school who are interested in STEM, as well as meet their ComEd mentors.
“Not only are they working hard doing hands-on work, but we have challenges so they get to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. But the race date is where all the energy is. The girls get competitive, everyone wants to win, everyone wants to bring the trophy home for the team,” Ninalowo said.
In the last couple of years, an arts element has been added to the EV Rally. The colors of the car are more fluid and dynamic than before. Also, the EV rally has expanded to include 45 girls. Last year it was 30 girls in six teams of five. Now there will be nine teams of five girls. Ninalowo said the expansion of participants shows that there is more interest in the EV Rally and in STEM. Every effort is made to put the girls in diverse teams. The goal is for them to meet girls from other schools and learn something new.
There are mentors who have participated in the EV Rally for many years. There also are efforts to bring in new talent to serve as mentors. The mentors are chosen based on talent. The hope is the mentors can inspire other young women.
During the application process the girls talk about what they love about STEM and how they want to impact the world. The ComEd mentors teach the girls who are chosen to understand what STEM really is and empowers them as women in STEM. It creates awareness and representation around girls in STEM.
Not only is there engagement with the girls who participate in the EV Rally, but there also is an opportunity to engage their families and friends and people throughout the city.
“We’re reaching out to girls who may not be participating in the event. I think it goes beyond the 45 girls that are selected, really making an impact to all of the other girls in high school who may want to participate in STEM. Them seeing other girls their age doing something like this is inspiring,” Ninalowo said.
Applications for the EV Rally close on Saturday, June 1st. The EV Rally will take place on Saturday, July 29th, at the Museum of Science and Industry. For more information about the EV rally, visit comedevrally.com.
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