race cars
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US utility Comed has launched its sixth-annual Icebox Derby to encourage women to participate in the electric vehicles and renewable energy industries.

The Icebox Derby challenges teens from across Chicago to transform recycled refrigerators into electric and solar-powered race cars.

This year’s edition is seeking for 30 young women who will build both high-tech race cars and pathways to their futures in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Women make up 49% of the workforce, yet only 26% of jobs in STEM-related fields in Illinois, according to a study by the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition.

The application is open to girls in illinois between the ages of 13 and 18. 

Applications are open until Friday, June 7.

Shortlisted candidates will receive a $1,500 scholarship for completing the programme and will work with ComEd mentors to build a fridge car and learn about practical applications of STEM in daily life and STEM career options.

The solar cars will participate in a race at Daley Plaza in Chicago on Saturday, Aug. 3.

Joe Dominguez, CEO of ComEd, said: “We’ve got to engage and empower young women to continue their STEM studies and see opportunities available to them down the road.

“Through the Icebox Derby, these young women work alongside women at ComEd who are leaders and have built their own STEM careers, and learn about the paths they are taking. We hope to inspire them to come back and work for us someday.”

This summer, nearly 10% of former Icebox Derby participants will work at ComEd as interns.

 Find out more about the programme by visiting www.IceboxDerby.com.