Many would find it fascinating to be able to analyze crime scenes, gathering information for the laboratory and assisting in the investigation process.
A group of Boyd Christian High School students participated in a Forensic Science Camp at Short Mountain Bible Camp near Woodbury recently. The activity was planned by science teacher Curt Darby as an avenue for the students to experience a small area of the forensic world.
“The intent of the camp was to incorporate all the science skills the students receive from physical science, biology, chemistry and math courses taught at Boyd,” said Darby. Assisting with the math skill portion of the camp was teacher Christie Love.
“It was an awesome day, and it helped me so much,” said tenth-grade student Brit Brown. “I’m interested in having a career in criminal investigation so it was very appropriate for me.”
The camp attendees analyzed crime scenes, collected data, performed laboratory analysis and performed autopsies on the victims. The “victims” were fetal pig dissection specimens. The group worked on a traffic accident, a suicide by hanging, a stabbing and a gunshot wound scenario.
“In the math area, they measured, weighed and used their all-around math skills to solve the crimes,” said Love. “The hands-on experience is a great opportunity for them to put their knowledge and skills to test.”
Guest staff members guiding the students were Bo Phillips, chief flight EMT with Vanderbilt Lifeflight; Chris Brown, a Cannon County Sheriff’s investigator; Stan Hollandsworth, a retired Tennessee Highway Patrol officer; and Stuart Colwell, investigator with Warren and Van Buren County District Attorney’s office.
Each of the guests worked with a team of Boyd students to determine if criminal activity was involved, and in determining the cause of death of the victim. Part of the investigation included gathering fingerprints and hair and blood samples. They also had to be alert for evidence, as the staff had “planted” evidence for the students to find.
Boyd freshman student Austin Harris said the camp was an awesome experience for him, especially since he plans to follow in his father’s footsteps in becoming a mortician.
“The Highway Patrol officer was very interesting,” said Harris. “He taught us how to measure how fast a car would be going in an accident by how long the skid marks are. I had to use some of my math skills, and the autopsy was cool too.”