On Wednesday 22nd January, Year 5 walked to Maltman’s School to watch a captivating presentation called ‘Unlocking the Universe’ by Lucy Hawking. She is the daughter of the late Professor Stephen Hawking who is one of the most famous scientists in the world. She told us that he is buried in Westminster Abbey between Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. Stephen was a Theoretical Physicist who used the laws of Physics to explain the universe. Lucy obviously had great memories of her father and how he introduced her to many clever scientists.
Lucy took us on a journey where we travelled through both space and time. She talked about black holes, the planets, the Hubble telescope and the Sombrero Galaxy. She also explained how scientists are using radio waves to listen for signals from intelligent extraterrestrial civilisations and to build up visual images of parts of our galaxy. We saw an image of a black hole that is 50 million light years away from Earth that was captured by radio waves and translated into a visual image. The children wrote a letter to aliens telling them what was good and bad about life on Earth and they thought about what aliens might look like.
We then moved on to think about humans in space and how it affects your body. We discussed eating, sleeping and mastering going to the toilet on the International Space Station. Finally we looked at robots and the technology of the future including a nano space craft that moves through space on a beam of light.
Lucy concluded with a message that all these advances have come from human imagination and that the audience of children will be the space scientists of the future. What a lot they have to aspire to!
Thank you to Chorleywood Bookshop for organising this special event.