Simon Shapiro (Toronto ON)

Toronto. Writers Union member. Passionate about sparking an interest in Science. $275 for one session, $475 for two, $650 for three, $800 for four (full day). Full day price can be split between neighbouring schools. Travel fee waived within 30 kms of Toronto. Standard kilometrage applies outside that area.

Simon majored in Math, Applied Math and Computer Science and later completed an MBA at York University. After retiring from a career as an Information Technology professional, one of his interests has been writing books for children. He believes that it’s important for students to be STEM-literate (Science Technology Engineering and Math). He loves to spark kids’ interest in Science.

Presentations

Simon’s latest book, Faster, Higher, Smarter: Bright Ideas that Transformed Sports, nominated for both 2017 Red Maple and Rocky Mountain Book Awards, and is also a finalist for the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) 2017 SB&F Prize, shows kids that basic science concepts are highly relevant to sports. He tells fascinating stories of people who came up with bright ideas which had a huge impact on various sports. For each innovation, he explains the science of why the innovation was so effective.

Some innovators were athletes, many of them quite young (the youngest was twelve!) But other backgrounds include scientists, a farmer and a security guard. The human interest in the stories is compelling and inspirational. A clear message is that being inquisitive and exploring can result in significant discoveries.

By telling the story of several innovators, a presentation can be tailored to demonstrate the widespread significance of basic scientific concepts such as:

  • Energy and the conversion between kinetic, elastic and potential energy.
  • Fluid resistance (air and water).
  • Centre of gravity.

Other themes that can be highlighted:

  • Disabled sports. The inventors of the sports wheelchair and the blade prosthetic were both young adults who were injured in sporting accidents. They were both determined not to let their injuries prevent them from active lives. They were dissatisfied with the quality of wheelchairs and prosthetic legs, respectively. And both came up with radically new inventions to meet their own needs.
  • Innovation as a result of crossing fields of expertise. Examples include using fiberglass fishing poles to develop vaulting poles; hang gliding technology for wheelchairs; aircraft technology for skis.

For all presentations it would be extremely helpful to have computer projection available to show a Powerpoint presentation and / or images and video. Simon will bring these on a USB (‘thumb’) drive.

The scientific concepts are best for grades 7 and up.

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Lorna Schultz Nicholson (AB) (Red Maple)

 

 

 

 

 

Alberta. Writers' Union Member. Fiction and NF. Multi nominations and awards. K-12.Adults.

$300 plus HST for 1 session, $550 for 2, $750 for 3 and $900 for 4. Travel will need to be negotiated. She always has accommodations in Toronto and Niagara. 

Lorna is a passionate, energetic and experienced presenter who will make sure that every presentation suits each group. She is the author of picture books, (Puckster is always a hit with the primary grades), middle grade fiction and non-fiction, YA fiction and reluctant readers. She loves writing about diversity. She also loves speaking to adult groups and leading writing workshops for grades 4 to adult.

Presentations by Grade: Lorna’s presentations and workshops are lively and fun and can be tailored to fit the age and the group. She can present to all age groups, and is definitely open to travel. Lorna’s books deal with diversity, and she is passionate about this topic. The students of today are the future for tomorrow and she believes that everyone deserves to be treated with respect!

K-2 - Lorna will discuss her Puckster characters (they’re all animals and diverse), and how she gets her ideas for her stories. She is animated, involves the children in her presentation, and uses her theatre background to be engaging. She will work with the students on story comprehension, (and fun), by having the children pretend they are at hockey game. Using her characters, she will talk with the students about family and friend dynamics and how to resolve conflicts. She would prefer two 30 minutes story sessions with the K’s for the price of one full session. Oh, and because the Olympics are in February 2018, it is perfect timing for her to read Puckster Goes to the Olympics!

Grades 3-6 - Lorna will talk about her middle grade fiction books and her characters and their problems and relationship choices and ups and downs. We all have them, right? She has two new books for this age group: Superhero Ninja Wrestling Star (fiction) and Connor McDavid (non-fiction). Both of these books are about being different. Yes, you read that right. Then she’ll discuss the process of getting a book published, and include both fiction and non-fiction tips. How she goes from idea to finished product, including editing and editing and editing. Yup, editing. She will encourage the students to listen to their teachers and edit their own work. Yeah!!!! A reading and Q and A will end the session.

Grades 7-8 – This is a special Red Maple Presentation! For three years in a row, Lorna has been nominated for the Forest of Reading Red Maple Award for her One-2-One series. She is humbled by this and wants to make the most out of these nominations. The One-2-One series is about the Best Buddies Club (a real club in schools all across North America) and the friendships between students participating in this club. This year the book is Bent Not Broken: Madeline and Justin and is about a teen who fell off her bike when she was eight and now has a brain injury. Book Lorna and find out about this series, and about what is bent but not broken! She will also have a sneak preview on the fourth book in the series!

High school classes - Lorna will engage the students by discussing her One-2-One series and how the world is full of diverse people. She will also discuss how she develops a story, the magic of story, and how she moves from idea to finished product. She will also discuss different research techniques and her writing process. Students will be encouraged to rewrite their work. A reading (yes, she loves to read to high school students) and Q and A session will end the presentation.

Writing Workshops (grades 3-12, adults) $500 for a half day (two hours). Or can be negotiated depending on group and needs.

Let’s Make a Story – Every student gets to pick a character and a setting out of a hat. Then the trade game begins. If the student wants to trade either setting or character they can, but the game is controlled and only one trade is allowed. This gets them thinking about a story to write about, and if they really do want to trade. This game makes their brains start working. Of course, every story also needs a problem. This workshop is hands on. If time permits the students will read their stories aloud!

Telling Tall Tales - Are you interested in true stories? Do you like reading about fascinating people? Writing non-fiction is just as creative as writing fiction. In this class you will learn how to interview, gather information and write incredible stories that will keep your reader turning the page. Be prepared to have fun writing about someone else! This is a great workshop for junior and high school students.

Virtual Visits: $100 plus HST, 50 minutes (may be divided into two 30 minutes) Skype

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