Training at the oil rig

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It was my first class at the oil rig. A bunch of engineers and geologists waited for me at the galley.

The room was full of skeptical looks. You cannot blame them for their skepticism. They probably didn’t have the right examples at home. Probably our educative system skew them away from their natural interests, put a label on them, and encapsulated them in a box not to leave until after graduation. They were skeptical of what their parents and teachers never gave them the chance to learn.

My students needed help, and I was prepared to help them.

I got in front of them. I searched for their faces, making my best effort to make eye contact, and slowly, deliberately, started my lesson:

“A good chocolate chip cookie should look like phenocrysts in an igneous rock, and the chocolate should look like euhedral crystals…”

Immediately the faces of my students changed, I saw the understanding. I saw the fog of fear and ignorance dissipating in front of their eyes. It was just the beginning, and I knew the road ahead will be very difficult. But there is a chance, a fighting chance, that my students will learn to bake.

Ivan Fernando Gonzalez
I am a scientist and communicator who is interested in science communication, diversity and inclusion, and outreach. I’m also a fan of STEM en Español.

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