Have you considered bringing forensics into your classroom? Consider these 5 reasons you should teach this science.
1. Make a real-world connection
Teaching forensic science is a simple and impactful way to bring the real world into your classroom. Your students are probably familiar with forensics from the news, TV shows, and online articles. Forensics brings together the techniques and the science that law enforcement and crime scene investigators use to recreate crime scenes. Some of the most sought-after careers are those in the forensics field. Set up a crime lab and let your students be crime scene investigators for the day. Challenge them to use critical thinking and scientific reasoning to solve a case.
2. Teach a true interdisciplinary science
Forensics is deeply rooted in biology, chemistry, and physics. When you teach forensics, students are challenged to use their knowledge of these sciences to evaluate evidence. Consider the example of using different chemical compounds to develop latent prints. Understanding how those compounds interact with the biological secretions in fingerprints requires a solid grasp of biology and chemistry. Let’s not forget physics. You can use the concept of fluid mechanics to study blood trails; additionally, if a crime involves a gunshot wound, you can analyze bullet trajectory.
3. Meet performance standards
Meet your school and state performance expectations by teaching forensic science. Carolina’s Forensic Kits are fully aligned with Next Generation Science Standards* (NGSS). The Teacher’s Guide for each kit includes a chart that that shows how the activities meet NGSS.
Review the Sample Teacher’s Manual for Bloodstain Pattern Analysis.
4. Incorporate other disciplines across your curriculum
Forensics is not only used to connect other disciplines within the math and sciences. It can also be directly applied to courses in government and civics. Forensics experts often testify in court cases. Understanding the law that governs their jurisdictions and being able to present detailed reports and findings is integral to the role of personnel in forensics. Forensics can also be incorporated into history, English, art, and physical education.
5. It’s fun!
Students are inquisitive by nature. Who doesn’t want to solve a mystery? Why not foster that curiosity in an interactive and rewarding way? Help your students build analytical skills that will serve them well. Encourage them to use the scientific method when studying a crime. You can incorporate a range of activities. Students can learn about DNA fingerprinting, analyze bloodstain patterns, and recreate bullet trajectories, just to name a few.
Whether your students learn about field or lab forensic techniques (or both), they’re sure to have a blast. And so are you!