After winning our winter semester’s scholarship, Renay Cormier has agreed to answer few questions we had for her.
We hope her answers will help future applicants to win one of our next scholarships.
Did you learn anything new while working on the essay?
I most definitely learned a huge amount of new information while writing the essay. I was familiar with many of the common indoor air pollutants such as carbon monoxide and asbestos, however Radon was something I had not really encountered as far as indoor air pollutants go. It was very interesting to gain insight on the isotope chemistry of Radon gas, as well as more applicable information such as how Radon enters the home and the risks it poses to human health.
What was your biggest challenge while writing about Radon and its dangers?
The biggest challenge I faced whilst writing about Radon and its dangers would have to be finding a way to accurately describe all relevant information in a way that could be read by individuals from all academic backgrounds, and be universally understood. I think it is very important for everyone to be aware of any and all potential environmental dangers that could affect them and their home. I wanted to ensure this essay was depicted in such a way that the reader would be able to get a thorough and understandable background of Radon, in addition to learn about the risks it poses and what they can do to remediate these risks. Not everyone is a chemist or geologist, so finding a way to communicate this information in a universal language was a little bit of a challenge.
Why did you choose this exact topic?
As previously mentioned, when initially researching common indoor air pollutants, Radon stood out to me because it was one that I was not as familiar with. I thought it would be interesting to do a little research on something new, and I was genuinely keen on teaching myself a few things regarding Radon as an indoor air pollutant. This scholarship program offered me an excuse to do so, with the added bonus of potentially spreading my new found knowledge to others as well!
Was it hard for you to find correct information about Radon?
It was surprisingly much harder than I thought to find accurate information about Radon online. The Government of Canada offered some very general information regarding Radon as an indoor air pollutant, however finding more detailed information did take some digging.
Reany Cormier receiving award from Mold Busters CEO Micheal Golubev
Do you think that information about environmental dangers are available enough to people?
Through my research for this essay, I found that the majority of sources offering information on indoor air pollutants touched only very vaguely on the topic. If one wanted to know more about less common environmental dangers, it could be quite challenging to find accurate information. Most people are familiar with common environmental dangers such as asbestos in older homes, blue green-algae outbreaks in water resources, etc. However, synonymous to our ever-changing environment, these environmental dangers are also ever-changing, and it can be difficult to find information on some of the newer and/or atypical environmental risks. I think it is very important to keep up with all emerging environmental dangers, and ensure that the public is always well informed.
Would you promote our scholarship program to others?
Absolutely! I think this scholarship is a great opportunity for students to produce meaningful information, learn something new, and potentially help them financially!
What would you suggest to students which are planning to apply for the next round?
As far as my advice for students planning to apply for the next round, I would suggest choosing a topic that you’re not as familiar with. For myself personally, I found it much more enjoyable to read and write about something new that I was previously less familiar with. Although it may be easier to write about something you’re accustomed to, it’s much more interesting and rewarding to write about something new and alternative.
If you want to read Renay’s piece of art on Radon, feel free to do so here.