David McKay of the SWCC presented me with the award.
Then I had a terrific time with the kids. I talked to them about the wide variety of innovators in the sports field. They were the most attentive audience ever.
I told them about the youngest innovator in the book. Thirteen-year-old Ollie Gelfand figured out how to levitate a skateboard while standing on top of it (thanks to Newton and his laws of motion).
I talked about the oldest inventor in the book. Art Myers was a retired farmer who realized that using elastic energy in a flexible fibre glass vaulting pole would work better than a rigid aluminum one.
They were spellbound hearing about the cyclist, Graeme Obree, who invented two different aerodynamic positions - both so much more effective than the standard one, that the cycling federation banned both of them.
They loved hearing about Howard Head, the unathletic engineer who totally transformed both skiing and tennis by inventing radical new skis and rackets.
After the presentation, Maurice Bitran, the CEO of the Science Centre, moderated a Question and Answer segment. Enough hands went up that we could have been there for a couple of hours.
Annick Press generously donated a number of copies of the book to lucky students, so afterwards we had some quick autographs.
Grenoble Public School, in the Flemingdon Park area, serves an immigrant population. Approximately 93% of the students and/or their parents have immigrated to Canada. Over 70 different languages are represented at the school! The school has won the prestigious National Quality Institute's Award of Merit as a Canadian school demonstrating excellence.
I was told that historically over 50% of these kids will go on to earn postgraduate degrees. Based on what I saw, that's easy to believe.