Using Forensics Science Problems As Teaching Toolsby: Kanesa Duncan and Toby Daly-Engel

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As teachers of high school students, we constantly struggle to engage students in scientific exploration so they can master concepts and appreciate the nature of science. By providing an air of mystery and glamour, forensic science engages even reluctant students in the scientific process and helps them think like scientists about authentic problems—one of the ultimate goals of science education (Williams et al. 2004). Therefore, the project described here uses the umbrella of forensics to teach biology concepts and skills in a setting that students would find engaging. The CSI television show was used to set up a “myth-busting” environment in the classroom and to investigate the relationship between popular media and students’ attitudes about science.

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Reviews (2)
  • on Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:23 AM

This article uses student interest in CSI type forensics to get them more involved in high school biology topics such as DNA studies. The teacher gives a good explanation of how he integrated forensics into his biology class to enhance student interest.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:50 AM

This article starts with a pre and post survey questionnaire that asks high school students questions why they watched CSI programs. From two of the episodes a unit on DNA was created. Included in the article is a chart that examines the concept taught during an episode with real-world application and assessment. As the authors point out in this article they were able to channel interest from public TV, a natural curiosity to solve problems with lessons in biology. To me this is a win-win approach.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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