Mercy High School students explore the earth and the universe on an astronomical trip to Arizona



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MIDDLETOWN – The recent astrological excursion to Mercy High School in Arizona focused on black holes, space and climate change.

Mercy Dean for academics and technology Melissa Bullock and science teacher Gianna Iannucci are co-operating with the University of Notre Dame Science and Religious Science Initiative from 2015, according to a press release.


The initiative is designed to help secondary school teachers of Catholic schools integrate Catholic lessons into the classroom of science in terms of ethics, awareness of the history of Catholic scientists, and explaining the superstition of faith. They also collaborated in assisting the Vatican Observatory to announce its website and tools for teachers on science and religion in advance.

Some of the topics that both institutions are trying to introduce to students are not conflicts between science and religion. For example, the Genesis book is not intended to be read as a textbook of science, but rather as an allegory dealing with spiritual questions. According to Mercy High School there is no conflict between the genetic interpretation of the evolution, the life and dignity of the human person.


Grace Delany, an officer at Mercy, attended the trip and found out that it was enlightenment. "The astronomical trip to Arizona was an educational experience that allowed me to think about topics that I did not present. I remember how I felt when I left Middletown and Mercy early this morning for this trip, "she said.

"I left a closed perspective on the universe and I never saw the exploration of the universe or education within my understanding. When I arrived home, I was blessed with a new perspective and ideas about the galaxy around us, "she added.

A component of faith with daily prayer and travel to the mission of San Xavier de Bac was also included in the trip. The group visited the Flandreau Planetarium at the University of Arizona, where they saw the latest information on the expansion of space and the existence of black holes. Within the planetarium, there is a museum of minerals and jewels, where students can see crystals, rare minerals and fossils.

In Biosphere 2, one of the world's most unique facilities dedicated to research and understanding of global scientific issues, pupils were taken on a VIP tour, where they saw mechanisms for the operation of enormous greenhouses and life functions that enable self-sufficiency in relaxation.


The University of Arizona uses greenhouse plants to study climate change and explore the challenges of preserving human life on other planets, in particular the Mars mission.

During the journey, the students met with dr. Brendo Frye, astrophysics at the University of Arizona, who answered questions about women in science, black holes, space time, life on other planets, and the future of space travel.

The pupils enjoyed dinner and talked to St. Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory. Justin Whittington's passport and Paul Gabor's father from the observatory joined him on this trip to Arizona.

Dr. Fleming, director of astronomy at the University of Arizona, met with the group and took them to the Steward Observatory and his telescope. Later, the group attended a talk about black holes by Jenny Greene, astrophysics and professors at Princeton University, which is also linked to Harvard and Yale.

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