Photo: David Suzuki celebrates his 75th with schools across Canada

David Suzuki chats online with school children across Canada

By Leanne Clare

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It doesn't happen very often, but David Suzuki didn't know the answer to a science question — and he was excited to admit it.

The tough question came from Grade 7 students at Gulf Shore Consolidated School in North Rustico, PEI. They asked Suzuki, "Why does the snow melt around the trees first in the shape of a circle?" He told them he didn't know, but that it was a great question.

On March 30, thousands of students across the country peppered Suzuki with questions at his 75th birthday party, hosted by CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos. For the event, called Canada's Biggest Virtual Birthday Party, the Foundation connected Suzuki with 166 schools over the Internet using TelePresence and WebEx technology donated by Cisco Systems Canada. Before the party, Suzuki asked students to get outside and take a walk around their schoolyard or a nearby park and then send him questions about what they observed. Sitting in our Toronto office, Suzuki could answer questions and talk with the students across the country by webinar.

At the end, all of the students sang a rowdy rendition of "Happy Birthday."

Suzuki said he was "ecstatic" about the event and is looking forward to doing a similar event in October with high school students.

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