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ComEd Spotlights Solar Energy in Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month
Solar Spotlight program focuses on teaching Latino high school students about solar energy and STEM careers
September 15, 2016 03:58 PM Eastern Daylight Time

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ComEd is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by providing Latino high school students with the opportunity to learn more about solar energy and career opportunities in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields through its Solar Spotlight Program.
“Exposure to STEM experiences is important as high school students consider their future career paths”

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In partnership with local community organizations and schools, including Aspira, Chicago Scholars, East Aurora High School, Instituto, and Alternatives, ComEd’s Solar Spotlight Program will take more than 40 Chicagoland high school students through an innovative, two-day STEM immersion experience where students will assemble solar modules and presentations about notable Latinos in STEM-related fields. The culmination is a Lighting Dedication Ceremony in which ComEd will install solar lights in four community locations to commemorate the students’ work. Locations include:

  • Belmont Gardens
  • Little Village
  • South Chicago
  • Aurora, Ill

“Exposure to STEM experiences is important as high school students consider their future career paths,” said Fidel Marquez, senior vice president, Governmental and External Affairs, ComEd. “As a leader in the energy industry, ComEd is focused on helping to grow important clean energy resources like solar, while also inspiring and equipping tomorrow’s STEM leaders with the skills they need to become part of our future workforce. Our Solar Spotlight Program brings these two visions together by helping students learn more about solar energy and opening up the realm of STEM opportunities for them to consider.”
Other Solar Spotlight partners include: Chris Williams of Millennium Solar Electric, a local solar installer from Chicago, who will provide the students with instruction, insight and hands-on training for the various STEM aspects that go into designing, building and installing solar-powered lights. MZI, a Hispanic-owned company and one of ComEd’s diverse suppliers specializing in electrical and mechanical construction and energy infrastructure, will install the solar lights in the outlined communities. ComEd employees will serve as mentors helping with hands-on solar activities and sharing their career stories with students. Local Latino celebrity personalities, Gabe Ramirez from B96 and Mike Oquendo of the Mikey O Comedy Show will be onsite to help with creating community awareness and keeping the student participants engaged. Yuri Lane, the human beatbox, known for beatboxing through a harmonica, also will be on hand to perform for students.



First Responders Safety for Solar Powered Systems PDF

Solar Spotlight

Christopher Williams from Millennium Solar Electric in Park Forest, IL
Celebrates Black History Month partnering with Com Ed with their Solar Spotlight program

Auburn Highschool

ComEd is launching a “Solar Spotlight” campaign designed to expose African American
high school students to opportunities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering
and Math (STEM) as part of its annual Black History Month celebration
Students from Chicago and Rockford will be working with Millennium Solar Electric Inc.
of Park Forest IL to build solar powered lighting that will be dedicated to a local community organization

build solar panels

Nine African-American students from Auburn High School in Rockford IL were invited to participate in a special ComEd program that let them explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based careers, while learning about some of the African-Americans who made a big impact in those fields

Build Solar Panels

The students getting to build fully functional solar panels at ComEd’s
training facility in Rockford on Saturday February 13, 2016

African American Black history

Junior Kayla Spates a senior is getting ready to graduate high school early – and has been searching for a career path that would allow her to help her community. So when she heard about ComEd’s Solar Spotlight program, she jumped at the chance. "I would love to do engineering, because the Solar Spotlight activity really helped us to define who we are and also try to help with our community ecosystem," said Spates. The students were all African-American in honor of Black History Month. The program allowing the students to learn more about sustainable energy while also learning about black history

African american scientist

"They're learning about…an African-American scientist who worked for Thomas Edison, who contributed greatly to the development of the lighbulb,” said Kevin Brookins, ComEd’s Senior VP of Strategy Administration

kids need role models

Brookins says it's important for kids to have a positive role model they can relate to. "So talking to them about someone who happened to be of the same ethnicity, in this particular case, as them, helps them to think about the fact that, 'He did it, why can't I?'”, he said. Spates echoing the same sentiment, saying, "We are the future, we're gonna impact the world. So I think this is a very good opportunity and I'm loving it, I really am."

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