A school’s new state-of-the-art science block has been officially opened by the former wife of scientist Stephen Hawking and her daughter.

On Thursday, March 17, Jane Hawking and her daughter Lucy toured the new development at St Albans High School for Girls and signed books for the students.

They also talked with students during a science-inspired tea which included a periodic table cake, planet buns, jelly in petri dishes and fruit rockets – all served by staff in lab coats.

Both Stephen and Jane grew up in St Albans – Jane is an old girl of St Albans School for Girls and Stephen went to St Albans School.

While she opened the new laboratories, Jane encouraged girls to be intellectually ambitious, emphasising the importance of art to science and vice versa.

She said: “Nothing is wasted in education. Imagination is the fuel of science.”

The new science block includes two spacious new multi-subject laboratories as well as tutorial rooms, science preparation rooms and an impressive new hall for lectures, assemblies, music and PE.

A new all-weather recreation area outside the building will enable girls to enjoy the benefits of being active outdoors through the year.

Headteacher at the school Jenny Brown said: “The laboratories will help to foster a love of science among the girls.

“This project represents another significant step in ensuring that High School girls continue to benefit from outstanding facilities in which to learn and flourish.”