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Forensic class
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Many of us watch them, those TV shows featuring forensic science that portray the leaps and bounds made in technology in our lifetime.“CSI,” “NCIS,” “Criminal Minds,” “Dexter,” “Forensic Files,” “Extreme Forensics” – they all feature technology unimaginable a decade ago. Gas chromatography, microspectrophotometry, scanning electron microscopes, DNA analysis, and polymerase chain reaction are all terms we hear bandied about in TV crime labs as tests are performed.If we need any more evidence that time stands still for no one, it’s marching on this year at Warren County Senior High where students are studying forensic science in two honors classes taught by Judy Thomas.Part of the health-science curriculum, the classes are so popular there is a possibility they could be offered as regular classes in the future, according to Thomas.The honors course utilizes the textbook “Forensic Science: An Introduction,” adapted by Richard Saferstein, PhD, from his classic criminalistics text and designed specifically for high school study. Additionally, students enjoy hands-on lab work and many other pluses Thomas adds to the curriculum.One of those extra, interesting activities included a lecture by renowned forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Bass, founder of the University of Tennessee’s Forensic Anthropology Research Center, better known as “The Body Farm,” thanks to a TBI agent and author Patricia Cornwell.Forensic science students also participate (via satellite and computer) in an autopsy.