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CSI: Half Hollow Hills

Students get a lesson in forensics in this high school course.

Crime Scene Investigation - it makes for interesting television viewing, and in Half Hollow Hills, students have the chance to take the hands-on Forensics/Criminalistics Elective. 

The laboratory-oriented course, available in both high schools introduces students to modern forensic techniques used to analyze minute samplings, fingerprints, ballistics, and other elements of a crime scene by drawing upon the fields of biology, chemistry, earth science and physics. The district says that recent prominent criminal investigations are used as the basis for class discussions, and are analyzed from scientific viewpoints.

In Erika Verderber’s class at , the unit of study was bones. Acting as teams of forensic anthropologists, students were given a collection of bones, with a primary focus on the human skull. The assignment was to determine the gender and general age range, with three points to consider: overall shape, jawbone and ridges above the eyes.

The Forensics/Criminalistics class allows students to explore their interest in career opportunities and the medical field. It is only a one-semester course, offered to juniors and seniors, requiring two units of high school science including Living Environment Biology as a prerequisite.

*Article and photos courtesy of Felice Kristall.

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