What is the God and the Big Bang project?
The God and the Big Bang project gives students from Year 5 – 13 (10-18 year olds) an exciting opportunity to discover, discuss and debate the compatibility of science and faith. You can find out more here.
Why ‘God and the Big Bang’?
The name ‘God and the Big Bang’ reflects our commitment to encouraging students to ask big questions. However, our workshop topics are by no means limited to thinking about the Big Bang or ‘beginnings’. Part of what we strive to do is reflect the amazing array of ways that science and faith interact in our lives, whether we’re scientists of not. Thinking about where we all came from is a great jumping off point for those conversations.
What happens during a school workshop day?
We begin with a keynote talk from a top scientist/theologian who opens up thinking about ‘the big questions’ by sharing some of their experience of being a Christian and working in their particular field. We then split the students into smaller groups with interactive workshops, involving them in activities and discussion. These workshops are usually run by early career scientists who are also Christians, and the topics are wide ranging. In the past they’ve included: ‘marine biology and God’, ‘fossils and God’, ‘Artificial Intelligence and robots that pray’, ‘why conservation’, ‘the ethics of tech’, and ‘magic, science, and God’. Finally, we close the day with a Q&A panel, which enables students to ask anything they want about any of the topics we’ve discussed – or perhaps topics we haven’t. Students are always welcome to stay behind after the Q&A to continue conversation and ask further questions. Follow these links for more details of our secondary school and primary school events.
What happens during your teacher training?
Training is tailored to suit the needs and interests of a particular school. Training can be organised as a ‘follow on’ session after a God and the Big Bang school event, or a full day workshop with opportunities to explore specific topics in a more focused way.
Do we have to be a faith school to book God and the Big Bang?
Though we are very grateful to have particular endorsement from the Diocese of Manchester, we work with all kinds of schools all over the country. No restrictions apply!
Do students have to be Christian to engage with God and the Big Bang?
Not at all. We are privileged to work with students of all faiths and none. All we ask is that students attend with an open, enquiring mind, and take the opportunity to engage with the big questions relevant to all of us, regardless of our faith background.
Do you represent other religions as well?
Everyone on our speaker team is a Christian, speaking from a Christian perspective – we don’t claim to be able to represent other faith positions. However, we do think that considering the interaction of Christianity and science works as a good case study for the way that other worldviews (whether religious or not) influence and contribute to the science we do. Our workshops aim to equip students to question their own worldview and engage with it more thoughtfully, whatever it might be.
Who is on your speaker team?
Our team varies depending on location, time of year, student age group, and the availability of our speakers – most of whom lead busy lives doing research and teaching in universities around the country. We can, however, guarantee that all of our speakers are highly educated and skilled science-faith communicators who are passionate about the work they do – so much so that they work in their respective fields full time. Our keynote speaker is always a well-respected scientist and/or theologian who is/was associated with a top university. Our interactive speakers tend to be young science-faith communicators currently pursuing graduate study and passionate about sharing their subject with young people. Should you want more specific details before booking, get in touch and we can give you an indication of which of our local speakers might feature at your workshop.
How much does a school workshop cost?
Our school workshops cost £10 per student for a full day of interactive teaching from well-informed and highly-skilled communicators. This covers all our speaker fees and expenses. However, we appreciate that £10 per student may be a barrier for some schools. If this is case, please do get in touch anyway – we are sometimes able to draw on grant funding to cover additional costs in cases of genuine need.
How much does teacher training cost?
Teacher training sessions start from £85 per teacher. Get in touch for more details and a quote for your event.
Who funds the God and the Big Bang project?
God and the Big Bang is funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. Their generosity ensures we can cover our infrastructure and resource costs as well as employing one full-time and one part-time member of staff. You can find out more about their work with us here.
Do you have classroom resources I can use?
We’re very proud of our classroom-friendly resource book and DVD, released in collaboration with RE Today and written by Kate Christopher. You can find out more about it here.
What’s your stance on evolution?
All of our speakers embrace the scientific community’s consensus on evolution and believe that it has important implications for the way we talk about science and our faith. Our speaker team includes scientists of faith who have worked in this field. We strive to be honest about our perspective and humble when talking to those who might disagree with us. For more resources on the topic of evolution, science, and Christian faith, we recommend biologos.org.
Do you work with adults as well as young people?
Most of our current adult work takes the form of teacher training. However, we’re looking to explore outside of this area: last academic year we held our first adult evening event at a cathedral, and we’re on the look-out for other ways we can reach to adult audiences. Get in touch if you have suggestions!
God and the Big Bang sounds great; can I join your speaker team?
We’re always keen to hear from enthusiastic science-faith communicators. If you’re a Christian with an academic background in topics related to our work and you’re interested in joining our list of speakers, send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The email should include details about your background, the topic(s) you would feel comfortable presenting, and any info on previous experience you have working with young people. Please note that previous youth work experience is a not a pre-requisite. We invest in our speaker team and provide training and support to help you build confidence.