Stephen Hawking’s passing is a great loss to the scientific community, and regular folks like us who have learnt so much from his books. However his work remains for us, and the coming generations, to explore, understand, enjoy and most importantly learn from.
While, our toddlers may be way too small to understand the greatness and simplicity that was a trademark of Stephen Hawking and his work, if you have slightly older children (5 years onwards), here are a few stories you can share, to bring the great man alive for them.
Stephen Hawking was born on 8th January 1942, in Oxford (England), during World War II. That’s 300 years after the death of Galileo Galilei, a really famous astronomer.
He had quite a fun family. They built firecrackers in their garage and had beehives in their basement! They rarely watched t.v. and didn’t play any sports.
Hawking, his sister and parents would read books at breakfast, lunch and dinner, right at the dining table.
He and his sister invented their own game in which they challenged each other to find new and fun ways to get into their house without using the doors.
Hawking didn’t get great marks at school, but he actually loved to learn. His favourite subjects were math and science and he was called ‘Einstein’.
He built a computer, all on his own, when he was just 16 years old!
He and his mother used to lie on the grass at night and watch all the beautiful stars in the sky. We guess, that’s how he got his love for astronomy and physics.
Hawking studied physics, a combination of math and science, and wrote books that helped people, like you and me, understand the Solar System and how the Universe works. His speciality was Black Holes!
When he was in college, he got a disease called ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) that affected his nerves and paralysed him (stopped his body from moving) below the neck. He even lost his voice and had to use a computer program to help him talk.
But Hawking didn’t give up. He continued to study and he got machines to help him write his ideas and research, which were eventually made into books that help all of us today.
His most famous book is ‘A Brief History of Time’ that teaches us some really amazing secrets about the Universe. It tells you about the stars, the skies, the universe and even Hawking’s famous Black Holes.
Hawking said that because he got such a serious disease, that almost killed him, he decided to work really hard on what he loved so that he could achieve more.
He died on 14th March 2018, at the age of 76, on Pi Day.
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