Ms. Susan Adamo, science teacher; Ms. Geri Braden, religious studies department chairperson; Mrs. Elizabeth Mueller Szydlik’84, religious studies teacher; Dr. Erika Brennan, science teacher, and Sr. Carol Ann Lockwood, S.C., religious studies teacher, recently attended the University of Notre Dame McGrath Institute for Church Life Science & Religion Initiative.
From June 18-23, 2017, high school teachers from across the country were equipped with approaches that expand the dialogue between the two disciplines and challenge the notion that science and religion are in conflict.
Science teachers learned how theological insights can be used to inform topics in biology and physics, while religion teachers explored how scientific findings can help inform and enhance their appreciation of God’s creation. In addition, participants viewed a presentation of All Creation Gives Praise, in which “theological reflections and astrophysical explanations are blended together in a digital journey through the universe.” IHA faculty members were excited to bring home lesson plans and teaching practices that seamlessly combine the two disciplines.
Ms. Braden said the program helped to clarify the connections between science and religion. "It was a tremendous amount of information to take in, which will supply me with solid material to continue to pass on to my students," she said. "The knowledge gained will enable me to pass on to my students that one can be a scientist and a Catholic. God has always had us in mind since the beginning of the universe and continues to be with us as it expands. I stand in awe once more of the greatness of God and God’s love of us to create such a magnificent universe for us to explore, grow with, treasure, and protect."
Mrs. Adamo feels that advances in technology and science are of mammoth importance in our society, while the significance of God and religion has diminished. "I found that the knowledge we gained during our amazing experience at the seminar provides us with the proper tools to educate our IHA students on how to integrate these two seemingly conflicting disciplines. Our goal is to have young women view science as the way we become closer to God and to make it an integral part of their lives now and in all their future endeavors."