Episode 52: How Do Fossils Make Your Car Go?

Meet the Expert: Maria Marianayagam, Chemical Engineer

Maria Ma


Maria Marianayagam is a Sri Lankan-Canadian chemical engineer and children’s book author. She was born in India and grew up in Nigeria, and four provinces across Canada (Quebec, Newfoundland, Ontario, and Alberta). Maria’s first career involved figuring out how to recover oil and gas safely. Given the non-renewable nature of these fuels, however, Maria continues to advocate for awareness and weaning from these resources–and for bright young minds to explore new forms of energy for the future!

Maria currently resides in Calgary, Canada, with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys writing children’s books centered on STEM and South Asian culture. Look out for her upcoming debut picture book in 2022 and follow her on Twitter at @MSMarianayagam.




Maria suggests that you take a look at this infographic from Azo Mining below about How Oil is formed, and then visit their link HERE for more information


Maria explains how oil is extracted from the ground in the podcast. Here is a great video to watch this happen. 





Go around your house and see how many things you can find that are made from oil and/or gas. Use this image to help

Petroleum Products image

Draw a picture of a few of the items and with your parents permission, send us a picture of what you

saw  via email at podcast@solveitforkids.com

OR leave a comment below OR share with us on our Twitter , Instagram or Facebook page.



How Can we reduce fossil fuel use book by Andrea Wang



Highlighted book for this episode! 


How Can We Reduce Fossil Fuel Pollution? by Andrea Wang

Fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas create many types of pollution. But did you know that scientists have found ways to limit the pollution’s effects? Or that even small changes can greatly reduce the pollution you create? Find out more about how we can reduce fossil fuel pollution.







Book List:

Fossil Fuels (Eye on Energy) by Jill C Wheeler (Checkerboard Books)

Fossil Fuels by Emilie Dufresne (Kidhaven Publishing)

How Can We Reduce Fossil Fuel Pollution? (Searchlight Books (TM)  by Andrea Wang


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