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Simon Shapiro

Photo: Sheryl Shapiro 2016
Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada


Faster, Higher, Smarter - Bright Ideas that Transformed Sports. Annick Press, 2016
What Can You Do With Only One Shoe - Reuse, Recycle, Reinvent. Annick Press, 2014
Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots. Annick Press, 2013
Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe. Annick Press, 2013
Better Together. Annick Press, 2011
Slither Slide, What's Outside?. Annick Press, 2012
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :


Presentation Description

I tell stories about innovators whose bright ideas completely changed various sports, and I discuss the science of why the ideas work so well. The stories cover a wide variety of sports, including hockey, baseball, skating, high jump, pole vault, soccer, skateboarding, wheelchair sports, and on and on.

The innovators are fascinating and inspirational. Some examples:

  • the young woman who became a paraplegic after a hang gliding accident and invented the sports wheelchair
  • the 12-year-old boy who figured out how to levitate a skateboard while still standing on it
  • the aeronautical engineer who transformed skiing first, and then tennis
  • the retired farmer who was responsible for the flexible pole vault pole

Some recurring science themes are conservation of energy (kinetic, elastic, potential), fluid resistance, centre of gravity, levers.

The presentation (like the book) leverages kids’ interest in sports and shows them that science is relevant and fun and that anyone’s curiosity can lead to significant inventions.

Presentation Length:
45-60 minutes
7 and up
Audience size:
Up to 30 preferred
Northern OAC WITS:
One session:
Two sessions:
Three sessions:
Four sessions:
One session:
GST not applicable