STEM Stars Build Up to EV Rally RaceJuly 27, 2023
Ready, Set, STEM! Anticipation is building as 45 teenage girls from the Chicagoland area build nine electric go-karts with the help of ComEd female employees and previous EV Rally participants. These girls have come together for the last two weeks to develop their team-building skills, solve complex STEM challenges, and network with like-minded peers and ComEd employees.
Each build night is full of excitement! Our teams begin each session hearing from inspiring ComEd executives including Gil Quiniones, CEO of ComEd, Michelle Blaise, SVP of Technical Services, Cheryl Maletich, SVP of Transmission & Substation, and Nichole Owens, Vice President of Distribution Operations. While the girls are hard at work building their EVs from the ground up, their families and loved ones are cheering and supporting them from the sidelines.
Their hard work is all in preparation for the big day! On Saturday, July 29, at noon, the nine teams will race for the EV Rally Cup around The Museum of Science and Industry in their newly built EV go-karts while completing STEM challenges. While only one team will be victorious, everyone will leave a winner because each participant receives a $2,000 scholarship upon completing the program. Among this year’s participants is Vivienne DeRosa, a rising sophomore at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights. “The ComEd EV Rally has been one of if not the coolest STEM programs I have been a part of,” said DeRosa. “I’m so pumped for race day and seeing what we’ve been working on in action.”
This is the second year of the ComEd EV Rally, and the program has grown significantly since 2022. This year, ComEd increased the number of participants by 50 percent to provide 45 talented young women the chance to learn about STEM and clean–energy principles, helping to set them on a track to become STEM all-stars and usher in the clean energy future. To further ensure that the future clean energy workforce is a diverse one, ComEd placed a special emphasis on applicants from equity investment-eligible communities, or EIECs, as defined by the Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act.
An opportunity like this doesn’t only affect the participants but also the mentors who take time out of their busy schedules to help the girls along their journey. Adetomike Adeyemi, capacity planner at ComEd, is a two-time EV rally mentor and is glad to spend her evenings inspiring the future of STEM.
“I feel like I get to live vicariously through them. When I was a teenage girl, I didn’t have these types of opportunities to mingle with my peers and learn about STEM from people who look like me and are eager to answer my questions,” said Adetomike. “Now, in my role at ComEd, I have the knowledge and answers I was looking for, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to pass it down to the next generation of women leaders. It’s incredible to see these young girls working together and falling in love with STEM, just like I did when I was young!”
ComEd is committed to providing the next generation of female STEM leaders opportunities to succeed. The ComEd EV Rally is one of many free STEM programs ComEd hosts each year. Other programs include Energy Action Team, STEM Never Stops, STEM HomeLabs, and Youth Ambassadors.
Want to see the girls in action? Join us at the Museum of Science and Industry on race day—this Saturday, July 29 at noon—to cheer on our EV Rally teams. Free tickets are available to the first 500 attendees at https://comedevrally.com/.