DADDY’S GIRL

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Ivanka Trump, DeVos Promote Girls In STEM At “Hidden Figures” Screening.

The Washington Post (3/28, Heil) reports that Ivanka Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos attended an event at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum to promote STEM education for girls. They introduced a screening of “Hidden Figures,” a movie “about three African American women who were NASA mathematicians in the early years of the space program.”

       The AP (3/28, Danilova) reports Trump and DeVos “on Tuesday exhorted young girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, saying those fields will provide the jobs and innovation for the future.” The AP notes that the event with local middle school students “came as the Trump administration proposed further cuts to education and science, drawing harsh criticism from teachers’ unions and others.” Trump “lamented that women make up 48 percent of America’s work force but only 24 percent of STEM professionals,” challenging girls at the event to reverse that trend.

       Madeline Will writes at the Education Week (3/28) “Curriculum Matters” blog that DeVos and Trump, surrounded by “eager students,” “touched moon rocks and examined an astronaut’s spacesuit” at the event. The pair was “here to talk to the mostly African-American, mostly female students from both district and charter schools in Washington and surrounding areas, as part of the museum’s Women’s History Month effort to get girls excited about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.” This piece quotes DeVos saying, “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a boy or a girl, whether you’re black or white, you can be great at whatever you do, so long as you believe in yourself, you work hard, and you stay true to your convictions.” DeVos told attendees “she mentors a teenage girl in her hometown, and asked the students to consider mentoring a younger sibling or relative.” The Hill (3/28, Firozi) reports the pair “teamed up to urge young girls to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) during a trip to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on Tuesday.” Other news outlets covering this story include U.S. News & World Report (3/28, Mirza), the Huffington Post (3/28, Terkel), WTKR-TV Norfolk, VA (3/28), CNN (3/28, Klein),

       Strauss: Event Comes As Trump Budget Proposal Would Defund NASA Education Office. Valerie Strauss writes at the Washington Post (3/28) “Answer Sheet” blog that the event “came just a short time after President Trump, Ivanka’s father, advanced his first federal budget, which…seeks to wipe out NASA’s education office, which oversees efforts to support women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields, operates camps and enrichment programs, and provides internships and scholarships for young scientists.” Strauss notes that the event “drew some sharp criticism from Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, who said in a statement: ‘Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Ivanka Trump are feigning an interest in STEM careers with a photo op at the National Air and Space Museum while eliminating all funding for NASA’s education programs.’”

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