Mar 29, 2017 05:10 AM EDT
Presidential daughter Ivanka Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos came to visit the National Air and Space Museum in Washington on Tuesday. The Education Department said their visit was to highlight the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
They were there to discuss empowering young women to pursue STEM-related careers and introduced a viewing of "Hidden Figures." The film is about a team of African American women who played a vital and unseen role at NASA when it first launched men into space.
Their tour with a group of middle school students came after President Donald Trump, Ivanka's father, proposed his first federal budget which included budget cuts to NASA's education office, which oversees efforts to support women and under-represented minorities in STEM fields. It also operates camps and enrichment programs and provides internships and scholarships for young scientists. The cuts to education and science draw harsh criticism from the teacher's union.
NASA astronaut Kay Hire was also present at the event. Along with J.R. "Jack" Dailey, the John and Adrienne Mars director at Air and Space, Barbara Gruber, an aerospace educator at the museum and Rae Stewart, a student educator at the museum.
Ivanka Trump is a successful entrepreneur and considers herself as a women's right activist. She said that women make up 48 percent of America's work force but only 24 percent of STEM professionals according to News Max.
During her introduction of the film she mentioned that her father's administration has expanded NASA's space exploration mission. Trump actually proposed to decrease NASA funding and eliminate the education office.
Randi Weingarted, president of the American Federation of Teachers criticized the event. He said in a statement that DeVos and Ivanka Trump are feigning interest in STEM careers and they should walk the walk not just talk the talk. He added that the next generation of astronauts, engineers, scientists and mathematicians do not need budget cuts but needs support.
According to The Washington Post, there was no mention of the 13.5 percent in cuts trump has proposed to the Education Department.
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