The kickoff celebration marks the start of the three-week program during which the IBD participants will transform old refrigerators from ComEd's Fridge and Freezer Recycling program into solar-powered racecars.
Six teams of girls will work with ComEd mentors to assemble and decorate their racing machines, and on race day, Saturday, Aug. 12, they will put their fridge cars to the test on a race track at Daley Plaza to win the STEM Cup, scholarships and other prizes.
Launched in 2014, ComEd's Icebox Derby is designed to educate and empower young women to explore opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
Data from the National Girls Collaborative project shows that while women earn more than half of bachelor's degrees awarded in the biological sciences, they earn far fewer in the computer sciences, engineering, physics, and mathematics and statistics.
More than 230 girls applied online to join the 2017 IBD program, now in its fourth year.
Each Icebox Derby contestant will receive a scholarship for completing the program and the first place winners in the 2017 race will receive a laptop/notebook and an additional $1,500 scholarship.
ComEd President and CEO Anne Pramaggiore and derby participants Rachel Kohl and Aastha Agarwal joined ABC7 News at 11 to talk about the program and share what they've learned this year.
Visit iceboxderby.com to learn more.