The skills and techniques used by forensic scientists will make the jump from the crime scene to the classroom after the Abbotsford school district approved the creation of a new hands-on course at Rick Hansen secondary school.
An elective science course, Forensic Science 11 “aims to enhance scientific literacy, by developing students’ critical-thinking and problem-solving skills while applying concepts from various sciences (such as mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry) to the analysis of physical evidence from crime scenes,” according to a proposal by Rick Hansen teacher Silvia-Carmen Comanescu, who developed the course.
The course will look at the collection of evidence including fingerprints, hairs and fibres, poisons and intoxicants, trace evidence, and blood and DNA. It won’t, however include entomology, human remains or firearms as topics due to their “sensitive nature.”
Comanescu wrote that the course will show students how science can be applied beyond the classroom. “This applied science course … requires observation, communication, and organization skills, thus benefitting the overall learning experience of the students, and motivating them to develop their study and process skills in an engaging and meaningful way toward personal development and toward relating school work to life.”
The school board voted unanimous to approve Forensic Science 11 as a board/authority authorized course. It can now be offered in the next school year.