Peg Conlon has been a well-loved teacher of anatomy and physiology at Dowling for 14 years. Prior to joining the high school, she taught middle school science for 19 years and later technology at Holy Trinity. She has had fun reconnecting with her middle school students as they pass into high school. Looking forward to her students and her love of science has made her a favorite in the science department.
“There is so much to learn and so many fun activities to do in anatomy/physiology, but a limited amount of time,” she says. “Another challenge in teaching high school students is combating senioritis, which is a crippling disease that strikes most high school seniors. They seem to get infected sometime on spring break. It is a progressive disease that is hard to treat, but the good news is that it is 100 percent cured on their last day of school.”
Conlon’s original path of education led her to medicine.
“I saw the first surgery with the scalpel cutting the skin, and I knew at that time I couldn’t do it,” she says. “I really enjoyed studying the sciences, so I wanted to continue with that line of education. The sciences interest me because they are hands-on and help in understanding and explaining the world around us. So by becoming a teacher, I could combine my interest in science and my enjoyment of high school and the students.”
Her lessons are intense and hands on, and her students can’t seem to get enough.
“We dissect the rat, heart, brain, eye, lungs, bone and joint, and the fetal pig,” she says.
During the summer Conlon continues to learn as she works at Monsanto in Ankeny.
“Through my summer experiences I developed a project involving seed moisture analysis and one involving soil analysis,” she says. “These projects mimic what is done in the Monsanto labs and is an excellent way for the students to work with scientist in the field. This summer I am participating in some biotech workshops. I am hoping to develop some new classroom lessons/labs from this experience.”