ASME and ComEd Liven Up STEM for Grade Schoolers

ASME DropMEin! Program is a collaboration with ComEd’s Communities of the Future in Rockford, IL and a Chicago neighborhood.

ASME DropMEin! Program is a collaboration with ComEd’s Communities of the Future in Rockford, IL and a Chicago neighborhood.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and ComEd are partnering to empower the next generation of engineers by launching the second year of DropMEin!: a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiative that brings engineers and other STEM professionals into elementary and middle school classrooms to enhance curriculum and inspire the future STEM workforce in Illinois.
During the 2023 DropMEin! program, ComEd engineers and professionals will share their STEM journeys and provide real-life, hands-on learning and open dialogue about power distribution, energy sustainability and STEM career paths.
“The ASME and ComEd DropMEin! program is an ideal way to reach out to younger students and spark their interest in STEM before they reach high school,” says Michelle Blaise, ComEd’s senior vice president of technical services and a member of ASME Foundation campaign cabinet. “As we work toward a clean energy future, empowering the next generation of the local STEM workforce is crucial, and that starts with providing them the opportunity to learn about, and be inspired by, the many career opportunities in STEM.”
This year’s program runs through the spring semester with virtual and in-person sessions and related hands-on activities planned in fifth and sixth grade science classes at Bronzeville Classical Elementary School in Chicago, and Haskell STEAM Academy and Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Rockford, Ill.
“At Thurgood Marshall Middle School, we prioritize student engagement,” says Jessica Powell, principal at Thurgood Marshall Middle School. “The program that ASME and ComEd have developed provides authentic opportunities for our students to engage in new STEM content and receive hands-on experiences from local STEM professionals.”
All three schools are part of ComEd’s Community of the Future initiative, which creates partnerships that tap into community strengths to enhance sustainability, resiliency, and connectedness. In collaboration with ASME and its member volunteers, ComEd has enlisted its staff engineers, project managers, data scientists and cyber security experts to share their expertise and professional experiences with students.
“ASME is very appreciative of ComEd’s support of our DropMEin! program and its generous contribution to our Campaign for Next Generation Engineers,” says Tom Costabile, executive director/ CEO of ASME. “Together, we are working to inspire more kids to explore STEM and pursue STEM careers including engineering that improves lives.” 
The ASME DropMEin! program has a national reach with a focus on engaging with students in Arizona, California, Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, New York and Texas this year. During the 2022/2023 school year, ASME will engage with over 4,000 students through this program to help diversify the future of STEM. Eighty-four percent of the schools impacted by this program qualify for Title 1 federal funding, with children from low-income families making up at least 40% of enrollment.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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