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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Ivanka Trump traveled to Pittsburgh on Tuesday to meet with leaders of local robotics companies.
Perhaps the highlight of her trip was meeting with some young ladies working to make contributions in what has traditionally been a male-dominated field.
When President Donald Trump took office, he assigned his daughter to lead the efforts in developing the workforce.
“Cities like Pittsburgh are experiencing a tremendous renaissance in large part because of young ladies and young men across the country who are at the forefront of that,” she said.
The Girls of Steel robotics team are a great example of those young ladies.
“Girls tend to drop out of STEM activities at a younger age due to society telling them that they can’t do it,” said Anna Nesbitt, of Girls of Steel.
The high schoolers, who compete in robotics through Carnegie Mellon University, work to empower other women to succeed in the male-dominated field.
“And we want to tell them that they can do it and robots aren’t something they need to be intimidated by,” Nesbitt said.
They showed the first daughter how to operate a robot they engineered, and told her how much they value their STEM education.
“It’s not about sitting behind a desk in school always and learning the concepts,” Nesbitt said. “It’s about applying it, which I think robotics programs like ours really do give kids that experience.”
Aligning skills learned in the classroom with jobs in the country is exactly the goal.
“I’m really passionate about ensuring that both students and mid-to-late career workers of all ages have the skills they need to thrive in the increasingly digital economy,” Trump said.
Before saying goodbye, she told the girls to never give up on their dreams.
“It’s not the person who necessarily has the best pedigree or the best education. It’s the person who loves what they do the most and the person who matches that passion with perseverance, dedication, and grit,” she said.