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 author. She was born in India and grew up in Nigeria, and four provinces across Canada (Quebec, Newfoundland, Ontario, and Alberta). Maria has a B.Sc. in Engineering and 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 books from her soon and follow her on Twitter at @MSMarianayagam.

Maria’s first career was working in the oil and gas industry as a chemical engineer. She helped to figure out where oil and gas could be found, and also how these resources could be recovered safely.




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 tag us on our Twitter, Facebook,  or Instagram account @kidssolve

If you send in your drawing you will be entered into a giveaway

to win a FREE copy of the book listed below.


Fossil Fuels Books

Book Giveaway for this episode! 

Fossil Fuels by Elizabeth Lachner (Rosen Education Services)

Coal, oil, and natural gas supply the vast majority of the energy that we use in modern life, whether that means generating electricity for lights and computers or fuelling the engines that power our cars, buses, and airplanes. Readers will learn how these ancient fuels formed, as well as how human beings extract them from the ground for our use.




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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