Chicago-area high school students build code, test drive robots at ComEd event

ByMaher Kawash WLS logo
Sunday, February 12, 2023
Chicago-area high schoolers build code, drive robots at ComEd event
Chicago area high school students got to try coding and test drive robots during a hands-on ComEd event for Black History Month.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It was a true hands-on experience Saturday for the next generation of STEM leaders in Chicago.

High school students from across the area took part in this ComEd-hosted program, where they build code and test drive robots.

"To do something like this just on a random day, I love it. You know, this is what I hope to do in college... hope to do in the real world," said Arthur Cox III, a Matea Valley High School senior.

Students did just about everything on their own, with some teachers and ComEd employees on hand to support.

Some of them got test runs in before going back to the drawing board to finish the masterpiece. The challenge is what makes it fun for these students.

"It's like, the fact that you get to build things on your own, and figure out how to do things, like, by yourself," said Aiyanna Smith, a Crete Monee High School freshman. "With help, but, like, not people telling you exactly what to do."

ComEd said it did this specifically for Black History Month, hoping to provide more students of color with these kinds of opportunities and exposure to the real world.

"We are definitely targeting students of color and females in our programs. We've been doing our programs about 10 years now, and they're experiences that will hopefully spark the interest of these students. But, doing it in a way where we expose them to skills that they probably didn't even know they had," said ComEd Senior VP Melissa Washington.

The hands-on experience these students got Saturday makes all the difference. Many of them said they're finding a true passion, and some are excited about all the future job opportunities available to them as they continue experiences like these.

"It only puts a smile on my face, because it means that my job opportunities get wider as I get older," Cox said.