A contribution by Engie Project Turkey: 

Yonca Yıldırım Çörtenlioğlu

Zehra Deveci Aral

We, geoscientists, study the most important topics of the world, such as mineral resources, energy, water, structures, and natural hazards. In Turkey, same with the rest of the world, the shortage of well-educated female geoscientists and gender imbalance is increasing day by day. To improve the gender balance and help to grow qualified female geoscientists, it is a pleasure for us to be part of the Engie Project.

We aim to make Engie Project’s scope heard by society and complete the survey. Within the scope of the Engie Project, we shared and announced the survey links via e-mail, WhatsApp, Instagram, Mining Turkey Magazine and Linkedin.                                                      

We have connected with the General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA; Geological Survey of Turkey) and gave them brief information about Engie Project. The General Director supported the idea and allowed us to send the survey to their employees via e-mail (There are approx. 1000 geoscientists are employed). This step gave us a chance to make our voice heard and reach more people who have target age-ranged teenagers and geography teachers.

We also got in contact with the Chamber of Geological Engineers to send an e-mail about the Engie Project and invited all members to join the survey (The Chamber of Geological Engineers has 18.257 members all around the country).

The other important non-governmental organizations, the Association of Mining Geologists and The Association of Geoscience, Mining and Metallurgy Professionals (YERMAM) gave support to Engie Project and they announced from their websites and sent an e-mail about the Engine Project and the survey. The members helped to spread the survey in their children’s schools, especially between geography teachers and target age-ranged teenagers.

While we were focusing on making the survey widespread, a couple of schools reached to us and said that the idea behind the project is quite exciting and promising for the future of young girls. They invited us to explain more about geoscience, Engie Project, and the Survey. Because students had some interesting and important questions in their minds. So we decided to visit the schools and give the first-person answers to these young minds’ questions.

 To inform students about geoscience we visited one of the most prestigious colleges of the country. We gave them a presentation about the basic knowledge of geology and mining, displayed a video about the world without mining. MTA Natural Museum prepared rock sample boxes for children. The boxes contain hand specimens of rock samples such as granite, gypsum, basalt, etc. We are allowed to take those sets with hand lenses to show the rock samples to the students in the College. We left the sets and hand lenses at the school as a gift. Curious ones can check them whenever they want. They asked many great questions about geology and the mining industry. It was a pleasure for us to give them satisfactory answers and also we appreciated their curiosity.

There were some other requests from other schools in other cities, we were planning to visit them but we are sorry to say that we couldn’t go because of the closure of the schools as a COVID-19 precaution.

Schools are closed but education continues as online courses. So we changed our strategy as well and talked with the students about geology via Microsoft Team and Zoom.

The Natural Museum of Turkey (was established by MTA) has a very special and wide range of fossils (ranging from plants and invertebrates to vertebrates), energy (coal, petroleum) and industrial raw materials, ornamental stones, minerals, and rock collections (http://sanaltur.mta.gov.tr/). For the purpose of the Engie Project, we are planning to organize virtual or physical museum tours for 13-18 aged girls in the schools.

This article has been published in the April 2021 edition of the ENGIE Magazine.