Step over the caution tape and into the world of forensics
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An unconscious body sprawled across the crimson blood-stained concrete as streams of yellow tape enveloped over the area. Instead of blurred golden badges on blue uniforms encircling the scene, here stood thirty-five students ready to learn.
As one of the new courses offered this year, forensic science allows students to analyze and investigate crime scenes. Students experience the thrills and suspense of exploring the world with a magnifying glass at hand.
“It’s pretty hands-on,” senior Laci Hinds said. “We also research real cases and real life people; where in other classes, we just learn about things that have happened.”
Being in labs three to four days a week, students are involved in activities such as fingerprint processing, DNA analyzing and mock crime scene investigation. Outside of the lab, lectures and class discussions about their discoveries are some of the other activities they also enjoy. Many of the hands-on activities pique the student’s interest by incorporating an interesting element into the labs, according to Hinds.
“We had this assignment where we wore socks around for an hour and then we took the evidence off of our socks that we found,” Hinds said. “We looked at it under a microscope and analyzed it,”
Not only does the content of the class differ from usual science courses, but it is also the main objective of the class.
“The goal is just for them to be excited about science and continue taking science in their classes,” forensic science teacher Jessica Bracken said.
Increasingly popular CSI and crime shows interested students such as Hinds to take this class. However, the students have many misconceptions about the crime shows beneath all the glam and glitter.
“The biggest challenge [of teaching forensics] is combatting ideas on TV,” Bracken said. “There’s so many CSI shows and the students think that’s how it really works and it’s not.”
Senior Karstn Graves also noted several other differences between reality and expectation.
“You have to think differently than [you do in] other science [classes],” Graves said. “ I felt in the past [science classes] [give you] a direct answer, but for forensics you have to look for that answer.”