We were invited to attend the “Pledge to America’s Workers” event at the White House on Wednesday, October 31st. Early that morning, we all excitedly met at the airport and after going through security, we went to Starbucks and talked about what we were most looking forward to that day, like meeting Ms. Ivanka Trump again and seeing the inside of the White House. We watched the sunrise on the very early plane ride and stepped off the plane at Reagan National Airport at about 7:30 am. We enjoyed breakfast at an airport restaurant and discussed what we might do before our White House visit.
We decided to go to the New Nature exhibit at the interactive art museum called Artechouse. The museum featured a four-room exhibit of works of art by Marpi that integrated technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. The art consisted of large projections that reacted with you as you walked near them and moved in different ways. After the exhibit we walked towards the White House and found another Starbucks nearby.
When we arrived to the White House, we went through several layers of security and were brought into the doors of the East Wing. We saw paintings of presidents and first ladies, the Presidential china, and hallways that we had only ever seen in pictures! Then, we were seated and the event started. The President spoke about his policies and the need for more people joining the STEM workforce, and an attending Girls of Steel Member, Anna Nesbitt, spoke about the efforts Girls of Steel is making to engage students in the STEM workforce. You can see the video of the event and hear Anna speak here at about 22 minutes. We spoke to influential policy makers, cabinet members, and technology leaders, who congratulated us on our work and gave us advice on staying involved with STEM.
Then, we walked outside to the White House Lawn with Ms. Trump to watch the President board and take off in Marine One. There, we continued our conversations with the people we met in the White House, and stood with Ms. Trump as Marine One took off for the President’s next destination.
After we said goodbye to Ms. Trump and thanked her for everything she did, we headed back to the airport. Even though we were very tired, we all are very thankful that we got this experience. It was interesting to be able to go to the White House and see things that you only get to see on the television. We gained valuable advocating experience and got to see how a meeting at the White House is run.