Welcome to the exciting world of forensic science!
This live full year forensic science class may be used as a high school lab credit. The course focuses on using scientific techniques and methods to collect, examine, and evaluate evidence pertaining to criminal investigations or “science as applied to law” (Webster’s definition). This is a course rich in exploration, independent research, and hands-on inquiry-based lab investigation which applies to many disciplines such as anatomy, anthropology, biology, chemistry, entomology, geology, pathology, psychology, and physics to solving crimes. Students will learn the scientific protocols for analyzing a crime scene, chemical and physical separation methods to isolate and identify materials, how to analyze biological, physical and chemical evidence, and the criminal use of tools, including impressions from firearms, tool marks, arson, and explosive evidence. Students will learn about the history of forensics, forensic science careers and the psychology behind serial crimes and killers.
This course will cover twelve units, with at least one formal lab per unit. Students should plan to actively participate in our live class, complete all assignments thoughtfully and on time, and to study regularly outside of class. I use a flipped classroom so students will use the textbook, digital notebooks, videos, video lectures, and web links to learn about the topics. Live classes will be for demos, labs and mini-labs, and discussion sessions. Outside of class, work will consist of case studies, video questions (using Edpuzzle), notes from video lectures, online labs, and readings from the textbook. Students should expect to do 5-7 hours on assignments per week. Most assignments will be due weekly, with some having longer dues dates. Quizzes will be weekly, and tests will be given at the end of each unit. Students will complete most assessments on Canvas or Quizziz.
Please NOTE: Mature behavior is expected due to the sensitive and/or graphic nature of material covered. A permission form signature from the parent will be required to view forensic-related material.
- Unit 1: Forensic Science Foundations
- Unit 2: Hair, Fiber and Paint Evidence
- Unit 3: Forensic Botany and Geology
- Unit 4: Prints, Marks and Impressions
- Unit 5: Forensic Serology
- Unit 6: DNA Evidence and Profiling
- Unit 7: Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology
- Unit 8: Firearms, Ballistics, Glass and Fire Forensics
- Unit 9: Document Analysis
- Unit 10: Forensic Pathology and Entomology
- Unit 11: Forensic Anthropology
- Unit 12: Forensic Psychology, Serial Crimes and Killers
- Scientific Calculator (does NOT need to be a graphing calculator)
- A 100-sheet graph paper notebook
- Colored Pencils/Markers
- Tape – double-sided as well as clear tape
- Index Cards
- Post-it Notes
- Lab Materials: a list of supplies needed will be sent no later than 4-6 weeks before the start of the course. Some will be household-type supplies.
Who should enroll?
10th-12th grade students who have completed a basic biology course
Prerequisite–Completion of a basic biology course
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Web cam, sound card, and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch video lectures and other videos as assigned
- Computer Access
- Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint or Google Docs, Sheets and Slides Access
- Scanner, smart phone, or tablet with ability to scan
Evaluation and Feedback
All grades will be available in Canvas for students and parents. Assignments will be graded within five days of a due date. Students will be evaluated through performance on quizzes & tests, mini-laboratory investigations, formal lab reports, homework, and independent projects. A progress report will be given mid-semester and at the end of a semester. Parent conferences are available upon request. Quizzes & Tests will comprise 30% of the total points, Labs& Mini-Labs 30%, Homework 30%, and Projects 10%.
Parents and Students may contact me through Canvas. I will respond within 48 hours to all communications. Please do not hesitate to contact me or ask questions. .