Call it the CSI Effect: Forensics classes are turning high school students on to science, reports Education Week.
For educators like (Mary) Hanson, who teaches a forensics elective at Arlington High School, in St. Paul, Minn., the appeal to students is clear. The nitty-gritty of forensics, whether it involves studying a shoe print or fibers from a crime scene, she noted, excites students in a way that much of traditional science often does not.
Ms. Hanson fully acknowledges that “CSI” has led students to her class. But once they arrive, she emphasizes that forensic techniques—fingerprinting, handwriting analysis, or photogrammetry (making measurements from photos, such as a suspect’s height in a surveillance video)—are more precise and laborious than they appear on TV.
Ms. Hanson draws from work (as a reserve police officer), and from the academic content in other science classes she teaches, in her forensics class. Students use geometry, for instance, to study one of the grimmer aspects of a crime scene: blood spatter.
I learned about blood spatter analysis from watching Dexter, a forensic scientist who moonlights as a serial killer. Don’t try this at home, kids.