Empowering Communities

Icebox Derby Mentors Engineering a Better World for Girls in STEM

August 8, 2017

“Girls are built to be engineers,” Caitlin Ball says. “We overthink things and nurture things, (traits) that go with engineering. (Girls) just need to be told they can do it.”

Caitlin, a senior engineer at ComEd, is one of 21 female mentors engaging with the 30 girls participating in ComEd’s 2017 Icebox Derby, a three-week program designed to educate and empower young women to explore opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

“Being a mentor is huge for me,” Caitlin says.” It’s one of my biggest passions to get girls into (the engineering) field. Girls build each other up. My one piece of advice to girls who plan to pursue (careers in) STEM is that they should keep going and never be afraid to ask for help.”

Three to four mentors are assigned to each of the six teams of girls to help them transform old refrigerators from ComEd’s Fridge and Freezer Recycling program into solar-powered racecars.

This year’s teams — Blue Quest, Green Galaxy, Orange Flare, Teal Turbo, Violet Vortex and Yellow Spark — will put their racing machines to the test on Saturday, Aug. 12, on a race track at Daley Plaza to win the STEM Cup, scholarships, and other prizes.

Learn more about this year’s mentors by watching the video.