IGNITE Summer 2019 - Page 12

3 Making the Case to a Wider Audience Of course, forensic science isn’t usually about stalking serial killers or wrapping up crime scenes in a literal bow of “Do Not Cross” police tape. Keeping a focus on science and civics are just as important for Hartranft and Waskie, who want students interested in criminology to understand the real role forensics plays. “At first, students view forensic science as a method of determining innocence or guilt, but that’s the decision of a jury based on forensic evidence,” says Waskie. “Forensic science is the unbiased and methodological observation, analysis, and presentation of evidence. It’s the application of the scientific method to the real world.” Combatting ignorance surrounding forensics and the portrayal of the science and related evidence led both teachers to launch a new program this year, the Forensic Science Toxicology Expo. For this project, teams of students were randomly assigned to learn — in detail — about deadly chemical substances (including illegal street drugs, prescription medication, and more). After several weeks studying the production, chemistry, appearance, criminal history, and effects of their assigned substances, each team of students presented their findings to a rotation of every other science class at Archbishop Wood — nearly 800 students. “Forensic science is the unbiased and methodological observation, analysis, and presentation of evidence. It’s the application of the scientific method to the real world.” making an impression of a plastic print 12 educating our peers ives ect st det e b r ou