IGNITE Summer 2019 - Page 13

4 Jumping Beyond the Course’s Conclusions One of the culminating activities of the year for Forensic Science students is the third quarter trip to Arcadia University. There, a crime scene house that is typically used for the university’s forensic science master’s program is set up for Archbishop Wood students to explore — and solve. “There’s a dead body, which is a fake body, and graduate students ask our class to figure out what happened and process the evidence,” Hartranft explains. “The kids remember what we’ve done in the lab. They go absolutely nuts over it.” “There’s this initial hesitation among the students that wears off quickly,” adds Waskie. “One group of students expressed how invasive the investigation of a living room feels, but soon they were looking through books, removing couch cushions, and digging through pockets. They really thrived.” With so much enthusiasm for practically applied science, it’s no surprise that many of Hartranft’s and Waskie’s students go on to pursue degrees in forensic science, criminology, and other related areas of study. “I have one student who is majoring in Digital Forensics at Bloomsburg,” Hartranft says. “Another student is a sophomore in La Salle University’s Criminology program, who recently emailed me about an internship he has taken on at a prison. And many current seniors are considering pursuing either Forensic Serology or Forensic Entomology. This is why we became teachers in the first place!” finally , the e xpo! The enthusiasm for forensics is clear among the course’s students. While the class’s popularity is one measure of success, its post-school year survey presents its own evidence: The most popular complaint Hartranft and Waskie receive is that there is no Forensic Science II. The Many Facets of Forensics There’s much more to forensics than TV would lead students to believe. Here are some of the investigative disciplines they learn to apply to the scene of a crime. Toxicology Identifying chemical substances to Fiber Analysis Natural and man-made fibers can link victims Entomology Insect biology and behavior can reveal Fingerprinting Identifying and eliminating victims and Glass Analysis Understanding how various impacts cause Bullet Trajectory Calculating when and where projectiles were Blood Splatter Blood patterns can reveal when, how, and And more… Students also learn about DNA analysis, understand their potential role in a crime. approximately when a death occurred. different types of glass to shatter. where a victim was injured. to suspects, locations, and more. suspects, and their possible interactions. fired to reconstruct a timeline of events. ultraviolet sweeping, and other techniques. 13