Forensics: Using Science to Solve a Mystery

This course is the overview of modern-day forensic science careers at work using science concepts to collect and analyze evidence and link evidence to the crime and suspects in order to present admissible evidence in courts of law. Modern-day forensic science practices have come into being thanks to the contribution of science and legal professions seeking ways to study crime scenes and criminal activities in an effort to stop crime. Of particular interest in this course are the various applications of medicine in the field of forensic science.

This course identifies science concepts and critical thinking in the area of forensic science. Following the presentation of the concepts, students are encouraged to conduct online research exploring examples and applying the concepts just learned. Links to case studies and interactive learning tools are supplied along with high-quality research sites. Projects are assigned throughout the course that allow students to actively apply the information just learned. These projects include simulated crime-scene investigation, actual DNA separation, development of a cyber security plan, and the identification of specific forensic skills used during the course of a very large murder case.

The focus of this course is to assist students in making career choices. Secondary school students who complete this course will have gained an awareness of the diversity of careers available in the forensic field. In addition, attention is drawn to many similar careers in medicine and computer science. Included in this overview of careers is the consideration of job descriptions and availability, educational and training requirements, licensing and certification, and typical annual salaries. Students who take this class will become equipped to make more informed career choices in regards to the forensic and medical science fields. At the same time, students will survey the history and scope of present-day forensic science work.

In this course, students will fulfill the following objectives:

  • Compare and contrast the professions in the field of forensic science in terms of job descriptions, educational and training requirements, licensing and certification, and legal and ethical considerations.
  • Examine the history of forensic science and the contributions of physical evidence, fingerprints, ballistics, animation, and molecular techniques in solving crimes and identifying victims and perpetrators.
  • Assess the contributions of medical professionals in the development of forensics as a science.

There is a great deal of research and related online study incorporated into this course. The student will be at a great disadvantage if the suggested work is not completed. It is recommended that the student have successfully completed a secondary-level course in biology and have a good background in physical science.

An updated computer system including a good firewall as well as popup and virus protection is highly recommended. The following are the technology recommendations:

  • high-speed Internet and functional sound system
  • a presentation software program such as PowerPoint
  • aupdated word-processing capabilities
  • a good firewall and anti-virus protection

State: National, California, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington
Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Category: Health Science
Course Length: Semester