Radiant Flames Shine Bright to Win 2016 Icebox Derby
For the last month, 30 young women from across the Chicagoland area worked together determinedly to transform old refrigerators into solar-powered race cars. On Aug. 13, they put the fruits of their labor to the test, racing their derby cars head-to-head with fellow competitors and completing a series of STEM-related challenges as part of the 2016 Icebox Derby STEM Cup.
In an exciting finish, the Radiant Flames team won the race, followed by their peers from runners-up team Sparkle Effect.
The Icebox Derby program is designed to educate and empower young women to explore opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
“Icebox Derby is one of ComEd’s many programs targeted at exciting young people in our communities about the prospects of a future in the energy and technology fields,” says Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd’s president and chief executive officer. “We are intentionally building our workforce of the future from our neighborhoods and fully expect these young women to come back to us once they have finished their educations.”
New to this year’s program, the young women, ages 13-18, explored STEM through the scope of renewable energy, building and powering parts of their cars with solar technology. Important lessons in teamwork and safety were also closely tied to this initiative.
“This year we added solar panels to the cars to power LED headlamps, the car horns, and a two-way communications system built into the driver’s safety helmet,” Pramaggiore explains. “ComEd seeks to offer a state-of-the-art learning experience, incorporating the latest in technology.”
Each Icebox Derby contestant received a scholarship for completing the program, and the winning team was also given MacBook Airs. Yara Shahidi, a star of the sitcom Black-ish on ABC®, served as the emcee of the event.
ComEd launched the Icebox Derby program in 2014 with participants provided by community partners, ASPIRA, Girls4Science, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, Operation PUSH, and the Chicago Urban League. To learn more, visit www.theiceboxderby.com.