On Tuesday, August 14th, we had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Ivanka Trump at the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s “STEM/Workforce Development” event hosted by Astrobotic Technology, a robotics company located on Pittsburgh’s iconic “Robotics Row” in the Strip District. Five members of Girls of Steel were able to meet Ms. Trump and discuss issues that are important to our team, as well as show her our robot chassis kit!
Ms. Trump was delighted to see us when she arrived at the event, and immediately began to ask us questions about Girls of Steel and the robot that we had brought with us. We were able to have a conversation with her on what we do on Girls of Steel, why we believe FIRST should be in every school, and why access to robotics programs is critical to building up the country’s workforce. She was eager to hear about our experiences in the program, and repeated several times how inspired she was by our drive to spread our mission and get girls into our STEM pipeline.
We were also able to reconnect with Congressman Kelly and Congressman Rothfus, both of whom we met at the FIRST NAC Conference this summer. We had the opportunity to tell Ms. Trump about our advocacy work in our nation’s capital, and both Congressmen were happy to see us again. She was excited to hear that we were engaged in advocacy, and assured us that we were welcome in Washington, D.C. anytime.
After a brief chat about our team and our work in robotics, we moved over to the robot that we had brought with us. She was thrilled to be able to drive the robot, and enjoyed spinning it in circles around the room as the press filmed. Both Congressmen were able to interact with the robot as well, bringing a physical representation of the topic that we were advocating to them about to their fingertips.
As the meeting wrapped up, we were able to teach Ms. Trump how to do the iconic “Rosie Arm”, and she signed our bandanas and poster.
Once the meeting concluded, we moved downstairs into the main Astrobotic highbay and participated in a KDKA-TV interview with Ms. Trump! We were excited to be able to continue our conversation with Ms. Trump on the news. The full KDKA story on Girls of Steel can be found here.
“It was truly amazing to be in a room buzzing with so much excitement about the things that we work so hard to create and promote. The atmosphere was extremely positive and supportive.” said Anna N., a sophomore on Girls of Steel who attended this event. “These are the kinds of conversations that we need to be having; it’s critical for students to talk to those in power to express their passions, and influence real change in our government’s policies. Through all of the interactions I’ve had with those in government through Girls of Steel, my biggest takeaway is that nobody is too young to put themselves out there to those who represent them. I feel empowered to continue my work and expand our reach through advocacy!”
We appreciate Ms. Trump taking the time out of her busy schedule to meet the Girls of Steel, and we look forward to continuing our work with the government to increase access to STEM and promote the need for women in STEM fields!
Articles written about this event can be found here on the Girls of Steel website.
Photos by Carnegie Mellon University.