On Thursday the 21st of September, students at Christ’s Hospital were paid a visit in their school theatre by Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock. The brilliant and inspiring space scientist gave two talks, detailing her childhood and the journey of dreams that led her to a career studying space. 

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock was born in London 1968. Aderin-Pocock’s parents divorced when she was very young, and she was also diagnosed with dyslexia. She also moved schools a total of 13 times (but she assured us that this had nothing to do with her behaviour)! Due to the constant disruption to her academic progress, she was often underestimated and placed in the lower streams. 
Though she was often told that she would not be able to achieve it, Aderin-Pocock was inspired by what she saw on the television, and dreamed of life outside Earth - with the Clangers, more specifically. 

She told CH pupils about how she went on to study Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College, despite her unfavourable circumstances. Students were amazed to find that her first job was working with the Ministry of Defence. Aderin-Pocock wowed students with details of a multitude of projects she had been a part of, which included but was not limited to a series of telescopes: VLT (Very Large Telescope); ELT (Extremely Large Telescope); and OLT (Overwhelmingly Large Telescope). It’s safe to say most pupils found the creatively named telescopes particularly funny!

To those who weren’t as interested in the science aspects, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock has various other fascinating achievements under her belt. As well as being a space scientist, she has also ticked Movie Star and TV Presenter off her list of occupations. 

Aderin-Pocock became the second human to ever meet the Clangers on the 50th Anniversary Special - which was a big moment for her as this was the show which first sparked her love for space. She is also a published author.

With as many jobs as these, Dr Maggie is basically Barbie. Mattel seems to be in agreement with this and made Aderin-Pocock her own Barbie doll. Now that’s the achievement of a lifetime! 

Amelie Beauchamp, a pupil in Year 11, after attending the event, said, “Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock’s talk was really empowering and motivating, now I believe there could be a Barbie of me too one day!”