Crime scene investigations in the classroom are helping Greene Central High School retain students and it’s incorporating all the elements of STEM under one subject matter.
According to Jose Garcia, STEM Coordinator at Greene Central, courses like Forensics is just one reason parents are keeping their students at the school. “A lot of times parents will approach me and say why I should leave my child at Greene Central High School and attend the STEM program and the thing is, we have courses that are very high caliber,” he says.
Just three years ago there were only three stem classes with 90 students enrolled in them. Now, the school has fourteen courses and 190 students enrolled in the classes.
With the help of one of the school’s teachers, Kristin White, together they’ve created a program that’s getting students ready for a career in forensics. “Forensics is a multi-faceted occupation and there are lots of different avenues in it,” White explained.
White has spent her entire teaching career at Greene Central and says teaching Forensics has helped her to become more innovative in the classroom. “I haven’t been afraid to just try it and create a crime scene in the middle of school and have the kids photograph it learn about the protocol and the evidence collecting that it takes,” she said.
Her students are completing blood analysis, using I Pads to collect and organize evidence and they’re learning to collect fingerprints from various surfaces. White tells us her students can learn all aspects of forensics that include bugs, bones, blood and DNA. The class also helps her students learn the difference between fact and fiction when it comes to careers in the field of crime scene investigations. “So much of our reality shows and Hollywood side of what forensics look like have kind of skewed their thinking so they really think these forensics labs have a lot of high tech gadgets and they make lots and lots of money, so we bring them back to reality and we show them that this is really what it is,” said White.
With the honor of STEM Teacher of the Month comes a $200 prize. White tells us she will use her winnings to buy cool blue lights and other neat forensic gadgets to help her students in the classroom.
To learn more on how your business or school system can get involved in the STEM initiative or to nominate your STEM teacher, click here.