Maya Hawes: a 12 year-old's answer

Maya Hawes is a Year 7 student at a comprehensive school in north London. She wrote this soon after starting secondary school in September 2008, before this project was launched, so she did not have access to any of the other articles on this web site. She was not helped by her parents or her teachers in writing this.

Some People think that science is not important, that it is only about blowing up things and making potions. Yes that is some of it, but ask yourselves why do they do that? Is it for fun, for excitement or is it for knowledge? Thousands of explanations for thousands of new discoveries. And they are all to improve the human race which keeps on growing and changing with the more things we discover.

One of the main reasons why people study science is to cure people. They research the illnesses and find cures for them. Such as Cancer, some cancer medicines have been found but lots haven’t. When someone gets, for example, lung cancer, we don’t have a cure. We have to experiment on them while they are dying. There is not much else we can do. Someone I know died of lung cancer. They tried to give her a lung transplant, but she died during the operation. Lots of people think science isn’t important. But lots of scientists have saved thousands of lives. Lots of cures haven’t been found but most have.

We also do science to find out about the world around us. Not just the earth’s nature but the universe’s. Scientists have asked questions which we are desperate to find out. Are we alone in the universe? We don’t know unless we find out. That is one of the other reasons why we do science. Because we want to answer unanswered questions. A scientist might not just do science for work. They might do it because they enjoy it. They enjoy seeing people’s lives saved. They enjoy finding out about the universe. Think of all the technology that we have today. iPods, phones, computers, TVs . We wouldn’t have them without science. That is one of the wonders of science. Not many people realise that one small device in their hands could be the technology that someone has been working on for years. Think properly, would you be able to make something so genius? How can they fit so much technology inside something as big as your finger?!

All animals on the earth have evolved from something, including us. Have you ever wondered what we evolved from? We could have been the biggest dinosaur or the smallest plankton. Science can be related to history. The history of the universe, the big bang, how the earth began. Where you are, listening to all of what I’m saying, one million years ago could have been in the middle of a rainforest with dinosaurs surrounding you. So I suppose that this is the end of all I have told you. And I want you to know that science is important. Maybe one of the most important things in the world.

Scientists will always be finding things out, every second. Not just scientists, you will too. And because of that, the human race will always be changing, for better or for worse. I hope you have enjoyed this piece of writing and that you will always remember how science is so important.


  1. Posted January 30, 2009 at 4:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I've been passing this around the science centre world all afternoon - lots of comments from people saying it's made their day. I'll see if I can't entice a few people to write here, too.

    This is terrific, Maya. I think you've shown us that trying to justify science ties us in knots; if we simply accept that it's important *to us*, and communicate that shared passion for knowledge – as you have here – then we've made our case.

    Great work. As I've told Alom, I think your essay, on its own, makes his work on this project worthwhile.

  2. Someone
    Posted January 24, 2010 at 10:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is a great contribution, would you believe that our teacher at a High School in Mexico actually asked us to take quotes from your article for homework?

  3. Posted August 20, 2011 at 12:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Simply magnific. I wish that Maya maintains the illusion and can be a scientist. We need people like Maya. Regards from Spain.

  4. claudio
    Posted August 20, 2011 at 11:44 PM | Permalink | Reply


  5. Courtney
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 4:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I totally agree with Maya. She puts is plain and simple: we came from science, we live through science, and we will either be saved or die through science.

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