Toronto — As many as 12,000 Canadian high school students and their teachers will have real-time access to renowned scientist Dr. David Suzuki on November 1 and 2 through a new virtual classroom experience. The virtual program is being delivered through a partnership between the National Film Board of Canada and the David Suzuki Foundation.
The David Suzuki Virtual Classroom will bring the famous scientist, broadcaster and environmentalist "inside" classrooms across Canada to speak intimately about his rich experiences and compelling vision for the future of the planet. The conversation will focus on many of the important themes depicted in the award-winning film Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie. Students will have the opportunity to ask Dr. Suzuki questions about consumption, population, sustainable development, Japanese and Canadian history, science, technology and the future of the planet.
"This partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation is helping the NFB take the next step toward improving the student experience. It is the first time the NFB has been in a position to offer thought-leading expertise and educational content in real time and simultaneously with teachers and students from across Canada," said Kristine Collins, NFB Manager of National Education programs. "The David Suzuki Virtual Classroom will show how well NFB storytelling can be enhanced by digital technology and utilized by Canadians students."
The NFB has a well-established tradition of providing strong Canadian content to youth and educators. This new learning experience has been created specifically for students (aged 13+) and educators who have studied themes introduced in the film and its comprehensive study guides. Schools have responded enthusiastically to the virtual classroom. They registered for all available spots before the registration deadline of October 1.
"The David Suzuki Foundation understands the power of connecting with youth and inspiring them to make a difference in the world," said Leanne Clare, Communications Specialist at the David Suzuki Foundation. "This partnership with the National Film Board will allow Dr. Suzuki to connect with tens of thousands of high school students who may not know his story. As an elder, Dr. Suzuki wants to share his life experiences and insights with the next generation."
The NFB Mediatheque at 150 John Street in Toronto will also host the virtual classroom. Leading up to the virtual event, Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie is available to educators and high school students for screenings followed by a facilitated discussion at the NFB Mediatheque in Toronto or the CineRobotheque in Montreal.
The David Suzuki Virtual Classroom playlist is available at NFB.ca and includes additional information about the event, as well as film clips and study guides.
About the film
In Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie, the iconic scientist's "last lecture" is intercut with emotional scenes that trace his life's journey, from an internment camp in British Columbia and the swamps of small-town Ontario to a memorial ceremony in Hiroshima and the CBC studios, where for decades he has created his much-loved, award-winning TV show, The Nature of Things with David Suzuki. The film, directed by Sturla Gunnarsson, encourages the examination of world events in relation to oneself and one another, and explores how people interconnect with nature. Co-produced by Entertainment One and the National Film Board of Canada, in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and with the participation of Planet Green.
About Dr. Suzuki and the David Suzuki Foundation
David Suzuki, Co-Founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, is an award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster. He is renowned for his radio and television programs, which explain the complexities of the natural sciences in a compelling, easily understood way. Dr. Suzuki is a geneticist who has taught at the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia. He is also recognized as a world leader in sustainable ecology. Dr. Suzuki has written 52 books, including 19 for children. He is perhaps best known in Canada for hosting the award-winning program, The Nature of Things with David Suzuki. In 2010, Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie was released in theatres.
The David Suzuki Foundation is one of Canada's most trusted and influential environmental organizations. The Foundation works with government, business and individuals to conserve the environment by providing science-based education, advocacy and policy work.
About the NFB
Canada's public producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada creates interactive works, social-issue documentaries, auteur animation and alternative dramas that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. The NFB is developing the entertainment forms of the future in groundbreaking interactive productions, while pioneering new directions in 3D stereoscopic film, community-based media, and more. It works in collaboration with emerging and established filmmakers, digital media creators and co-producers in every region of Canada, with Aboriginal and culturally diverse communities, as well as partners around the world. Since the NFB's founding in 1939, it has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 4 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. Its NFB.ca Screening Room features over 2,000 productions online, including high-definition and 3D films. The NFB also puts the experience of cinema into the hands of Canadians everywhere through its acclaimed mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android platforms, as well as a pre-loaded app in the BlackBerry PlayBook.
For more information:
Jenn Humphries, Publicist on behalf of the NFB
Leanne Clare, Communications Specialist
The David Suzuki Foundation
Tel: 613. 594 5410
Lily Robert, Director, Corporate Communications, NFB