Students get head start as crime scene investigators

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some high school students in Lawrence Township are learning about science, technology, engineering, and math in a unique way by acting as crime scene investigators.

“I saw TV shows like ‘Bones’ and ‘CSI’ and thought it was really interesting,” said freshman Sylvia Yun. “They incorporated it with science and it was interesting how they solved the cases and I wanted to know how I could do that – maybe it’s something I wanted to do.”

She’s finding out through the Biomedical Science Program at her school district’s McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology.

Teacher Kelly Bozoian takes students through a mock crime scene and studies the ‘victim,’ named Ana Garcia.

“They process the crime scene, we do some analysis, we do blood spatter analysis as well as some DNA analysis of the blood,” said Bozoian. “And students come to know this crime scene and to find out what happened to Ana Garcia.”

The project-based four-year program allows students to learn about the roles of biomedical professionals as they study the concepts of human medicine, physiology, genetics, microbiology and public health.

Bozoian said the program also teaches students soft skills like communication and teamwork.

The curriculum is provided through Project Lead The Way (PTLW), a national non-profit headquartered in Indianapolis, that provides science technology engineering and math programs.

According to the organization, biomedical engineer positions are expected to increase 27 percent by 2022.

“So what Project Lead The Way is doing is (to) really give students the skills they need to fill those jobs – the creative thinking, collaboration, critical thinking skills, and problem solving,” said PLTW spokesperson Dorothy Gorman.

After offering its biomedical science program as a pilot project in the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township, PTLW now offers the program in schools in all 50 states.

“You don’t have a textbook in this class,” said Yun. “You get to do hands-on activities and then build stuff and see how it works and I think that’s really fun.”

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