Educational workshops pair students with ComEd mentors to learn about careers in energy industry
Twenty-five 5th-grade students of James R. Doolittle Elementary School are the latest to receive hands-on learning about the intricacies of electricity as part of ComEd’s Power of STEM education course.
ComEd worked with Doolittle Elementary in Chicago’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood to engage students in a series of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sessions during March and April. Bronzeville is the site of ComEd’s first Community of the Future, through which the company offers its expertise, resources and personnel to introduce advanced technologies that are tailored to address residents’ needs.
The centerpiece of that collaboration is one of the nation’s first community microgrids, a technology which incorporates distributed energy resources, such as solar panels and battery energy storage, to operate in conjunction with the main power grid or disconnect and operate standalone to keep power flowing to a segment of the Bronzeville community when the main grid is challenged.
“At ComEd, our success is rooted in celebrating and embracing the spirit of engineering which, as creators, means always looking at, and working towards, what could be,” said Michelle Blaise, ComEd’s senior vice president of technical services. “As a participant in every community we serve, ComEd’s role is to create, generate, and support STEM-related education for students – our workforce of the future.”
ComEd’s Power of STEM program consists of three, two-hour sessions during which students in grades 4 through 12 complete hands-on projects with ComEd engineering mentors to learn about electricity, how solar energy is generated, the Bronzeville microgrid, and the roles ComEd STEM professionals play in maintaining a community’s power supply. Since the launch of Power of STEM in 2022, 250 students from 10 schools, community organizations and nonprofits have learned about energy fundamentals and careers through the program.
During the closing session in April, students from Doolittle Elementary were assigned mentors to learn about climate change, the challenge it poses to meet ongoing energy needs and discuss possible solutions for meeting future energy needs. As students work and learn, mentors discuss careers in electric power that require two- and four-year degrees and those that require technical training.
Schools and organizations interested in scheduling a Power of STEM session can email Rebecca.Niemeyer@ComEd.com.
More STEM programs for northern Illinois students
ComEd’s Power of STEM is one of the many programs ComEd sponsors to encourage more women and students of color to pursue STEM careers. Other ComEd programs include ComEd’s STEM Labs, the Stay in School Initiative and the ComEd EV Rally for Chicago-area girls.
Scheduled this year for July 29, the EV Rally educates and empowers any female-identifying Illinois resident, between the ages of 13 and 18, to explore careers in STEM and become the innovative workforce of the future. The program provides opportunities to learn about electric vehicles and STEM, connect with female STEM mentors and build electric go-karts. The program is accepting applications through June 1, 2023 at ComEdEVRally.com.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
ComEd Media Relations