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Press Release - Four Questions with Supriya: #ILookLikeAnEngineer

September 24, 2015

Throughout the 2016 election, Louisiana's First Lady, Supriya Jindal will provide a behind the scenes look at the Jindal for President campaign and answer your questions in a series of blog posts. Today's post is inspired by the #ILookLikeAnEngineer movement which showcases diversity in the field of engineering. Mrs. Jindal is the only First Spouse in the country that holds a degree in engineering. As a mother of three young children, Supriya has taken an interest in issues regarding children's education and enjoys encouraging children to build a strong foundation in math and science - no matter what path they hope to pursue in life. She is also the founder of the Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana's Children, a foundation that seeks to foster an interest in science and math among Louisiana's students.

Why did you become an engineer?

At a young age, I felt drawn to math and science. The idea of innovation and its impact on our lives truly inspired me. I am also blessed with several engineers in the family, including my father, who helped show me the power of engineering.

Why is STEM/STEAM so important?

For Louisiana, and the United States to be competitive in a global economy, our children must have a solid foundation in math and science. Vital industries to our economy, our security and our wellbeing such as defense, medical, pharmaceutical and agriculture all need a new generation of thinkers to stay on the cutting edge.

What is the key to getting students immersed in STEM/STEAM?

Like anything, you need to make it fun. One of the things we have really tried to do with the Jindal Foundation is to encourage hands on learning and bringing interactive tools into as many Louisiana classrooms as possible. You also need to make STEM/STEAM relatable. That helps show how important it is. We have welcomed engineers from NASA, The Dow Chemical Company, LSU and other great companies to help us give students hands-on demonstrations which help them to realize that math and science is all around them. It's exciting.

Tell us a little bit about the Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana's Children

I created the Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana's Children to harness the power of technology in Louisiana classrooms, to emphasize the importance of science and math, and to help develop the Louisiana workforce of tomorrow.

Through the generosity of many wonderful partners, the Foundation has raised over $2.3 million to positively impact over 1,200 classrooms across Louisiana, brought twenty-first century learning tools into classrooms, encouraged students to pursue careers in math and science, promoted healthy lifestyles, donated school supplies to children affected by the Oil Spill, inspired a love for reading and offered new parents guidance regarding the development of their young child. With these initiatives, the Foundation was able to directly impact almost 300,000 people!

Bobby Jindal, Press Release - Four Questions with Supriya: #ILookLikeAnEngineer Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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