Science books now in the vernacular

The City of Cape Town’s Central Library was the venue for the launch of a series of children’s books in isiXhosa and isiZulu recently.

The books, written by Lucy Hawking, daughter of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, aim to explain complex science in simple terms to inspire young readers. Read more below:

Author and journalist, Lucy Hawking, worked with leading global scientists to write adventure stories based on scientific facts to arouse an interest in and fascination for science among young readers.

She has written six books in the George Greenby series, where George and his friend Annie travel across the universe to fight the forces of evil using scientific information, facts and theories they learn along the way.

The books have been translated into over 40 languages, including isiXhosa and isiZulu, thanks to a collaboration with the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa.

The books were launched at the Central Library and copies will be available at various City of Cape Town libraries including Central, Kuyasa and Harare.

As a self-confessed and committed geek, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith, said everything possible must be done to advance the cause of science.

‘I believe we need to develop young minds that are more curious about science, its principles, and problem-solving.

Understanding science helps us to embrace the subject as it won’t seem so foreign, encourages young children to choose careers in science, and helps us to make informed decisions.

Science provides the spark children need to realise they can help solve problems.

It not only teaches them about the world around them, but also gives them a healthy dose of scepticism.

If we do not inspire children to love science, we are doomed,’ said Alderman Smith.

Creating awareness and possibilities of new and exciting careers and economic opportunities is one of the goals of the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan.

‘By exposing our children to science in a fun and exhilarating way, we hope to make them aware of the scientific options and inspire many of them to choose a career that solves problems in our country and around the world,’ added Alderman Smith.

With a background in journalism, Oxford graduate Lucy Hawking regularly gives talks on popular science for diverse audiences across the globe. She has won several scientific awards and accolades. In 2015, Hawking was awarded a grant from the United Kingdom Space Agency to create resources for primary school children.

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