As a result of my participation in the CWCS workshop on Forensics sciences, I developed and taught 2 different courses. The first is a non-majors forensic chemistry class with a laboratory component and the second is a junior/senior level biochemistry lab. The non-majors class introduces the scientific method and critical thinking in a hands-on investigative setting. Physical and chemical properties, types of reactions, thermochemistry and kinetics are just a few of the topics presented within "the cases" the students investigate.
After attending the CWCS workshop in Forensic Science in June of 2002, an advanced chemistry course utilizing many of the techniques covered in the workshop was introduced for the first time in the spring of 2003. In the fall of 2003, the
After attending a June 2005 NSF sponsored Center for Workshops in the Chemical Sciences a 3-credit (2-hour lecture, 3-hour laboratory) Introduction to Forensic Science course was developed as a general education Group C (Science and Math) component. This course is unique in that it is the only course specifically developed as a general education course with a laboratory component. The logistics of the course will be discussed. The experiments for the course are designed to mimic a crime lab in which the students receive sealed, packaged evidence from a mock crime scene.
Many educators believe that the material utilized in forensic science courses needs to adapt to an increasingly diverse group of students whist simultaneously developing their critical thinking skills. One way to do that is to use carefully chosen snippets from feature films in order to visually display new and upcoming techniques. This presentation will discuss using film clips as such an effective teaching tool for forensic courses.
The current interest in television shows highlighting forensic investigation provides an opportunity to engage all students in critical analysis and to foster their capacity for logical argument. Based on knowledge gained at the CWCS Forensic Science workshop last summer, I have created a Freshman Seminar focusing on Science and Justice, using case studies and presenting the relevant scientific evidence.
Building communities of scholars: The NSF-sponsored Center for Workshops in the Chemical Sciences (CWCS)
Over the last six years, the Center for Workshops in the Chemical Sciences (CWCS) has provided 66 workshops at 27 host institutions on a variety of topical areas. These have served more than 1200 participants who have used the material from the workshops in a number of ways to improve undergraduate education at their home institutions. A new initiative is to build strong
The CWCS Forensic Science workshop occurred at a fortunate time relative to difficult decisions on the Sam Houston State University campus. In 2001 the university instituted a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry and the Master of Science in Forensic Science. A dedicated facility, the Chemistry and Forensic Science Building, was completed in 2005. Because the university was uniquely suited with a College of Criminal Justice as well as a traditional College of Arts and Sciences, considerable resources were dedicated to this endeavor.