Grantham school attend service to remember Professor Stephen Hawking
Four students from Walton Girls’ High School attended a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on Friday to celebrate the life of Professor Stephen Hawking.
The school was selected from a public ballot of over 500 schools to attend the historic event to honour one of the world’s most renowned physicists.
The four sixth formers, Lili Hajnal, Jasmine Richardson, Sydney Dickens-Smith and Elysia Chettle, who are all studying A-level maths or physics, were given the opportunity to attend the memorial service due to their roles in the academy as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) ambassadors.
During the service, Professor Hawking’s ashes were interred close to those of other distinguished scientists, Charles Darwin and Grantham’s Sir Isaac Newton, who was laid to rest at the Abbey in 1727.
Teacher Mike Hoad, leader of Walton’s Gifted and Talented programme, accompanied the students to the service.
He said: “It has been an absolute honour for the girls to attend such an historic event and to be part of the service to remember such an important scientist. I’m sure this is an experience they will treasure for the rest of their lives.”
Sixth former Sydney Dickens-Smith said: “It was an absolutely fantastic experience to celebrate the achievements and life of Professor Stephen Hawking,” Elysia Chettle added: “A completely unforgettable celebration to remember the work of a phenomenal physicist and mathematician.”
Hawking died at his home in Cambridge early in the morning of 14 March 2018, at the age of 76.
The British scientist was famed for his work with black holes and relativity, and wrote several popular science books including A Brief History of Time.
He was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease, aged 22.