PUPILS were transported out of this world when celebrated author Lucy Hawking gave a talk about space exploration.
The children’s writer and daughter of renowned physicist Stephen Hawking took youngsters at St John’s College in Southsea on a whirlwind tour of the cosmos, as part of the Portsmouth Festivities.
She opened her talk with a summary of her popular George series, co-authored with her dad, about a young boy who travels through space, before discussing real-life missions and the importance of finding another habitable planet for humans to live on.
Speaking at the event, Lucy said: ‘I’m delighted to be supporting the Portsmouth Festivities and I’ve had a wonderful time today.
‘Space is a great topic to open children’s minds and lead them to further study. When I was growing up science was just there and I took it for granted. Now I’m trying to share a bit of that privilege.’
Hawking’s visit came at the perfect time for the year seven and eight pupils who have just completed a major project on the solar system.
Olivia Gough, 12, said: ‘I found the talk amazing. Space is a fascinating subject because there are so many unknowns.
‘When Lucy said someone from our generation would be the first to walk on Mars I thought I’d love to be that person.’
Ellie Hughes, 12, took part in an opening sketch of two green aliens taking earthlings on a tour of the solar system.
She said: ‘I felt honoured to act in front of Lucy, who taught us so much about space.
‘It made me feel good when she played a message from Stephen Hawking wishing us luck on our cosmic journey.
‘I’d like to be an astronaut when I grow up.’
Matthew Round, science teacher, said: ‘Lucy’s been inspirational today.
‘Cosmology is not an obvious choice of subject to study so it’s great to meet such a talented author who makes it fun and accessible.’