Processes of Science: Forensics

Course Number: 
NSCI-156
Credits: 
3

This course covers introductory science processes using the content of forensics as a vehicle to establish an appreciation of the scientific method, critical thinking and problem solving. The basic processes of observing, collecting data, classifying, comparing, analyzing and forming hypotheses will be addressed using the concepts of forensics.

Goals: 
  • To develop reading, writing and analytical skills related to the forensics content and to use those skills to develop and revise written laboratory reports.
  • To enhance skills in communicating scientific ideas and processes in writing and face-to-face, using English and ASL.
  • To develop students’ ability to think critically and solve problems as they relate scientific concepts to real world issues.
  • To develop skills in observation, basic measurement techniques, data collection, and graphical and analytical interpretation of data.
Topics: 
  • Forensic Concepts and Terms
  • Prediction and Hypothesis
  • Documenting a Crime Scene
  • Crime Scene Analysis
    • Using actual data
    • Using news articles
  • Laboratory Techniques
    • Blood
    • Hair
    • Fingerprints
    • DNA
    • Urine Analysis
  • Writing a Formal Laboratory Report
  • Technical signs and science vocabulary
    • ASL signs used in this course
    • How the science concepts relate to the signs
Learning Outcomes: 
Outcome: At the completion of this course, students will be able to: Assessment Method
  1. Explain the basic terminology that applies to the field of forensics (evidence, alibi, motive, etc).

Quizzes, Homework & Labs

  1. Differentiate between the terms prediction and hypothesis.

Quizzes, Homework & Labs

  1. Given scenarios, determine the reason for experimentation, the hypothesis for the experiment and make predictions based on the data presented.

Quizzes, Homework & Labs

  1. Given data, use Excel to produce a graphical representation of the data.

Laboratory Reports

  1. Analyze given data and provide an explanation for the outcomes of an experiment.

Quizzes, Homework &

  1. Write a lab report with all of the required sections and necessary content.

Laboratory Report

  1. Describe the steps necessary for documenting a crime scene.

Quizzes, Homework & Labs

  1. Given a crime scene, document and record the data.

Lab work

  1. Differentiate between the different types of fingerprints.

Quizzes, Homework & Labs

  1. Given unknown fingerprints, match them with known fingerprints.

Lab work

  1. Given articles of recent crimes in the US, list the evidence that lead to the capture of the convict.

Quizzes, Homework & Labs

  1. Using anti-serum, identify blood types of unknown samples.

Lab work

  1. Identify the structures of a strand of hair and explain how hair differs between races and species. 

Quizzes, Homework & Labs

  1. Using a microscope, match unknown hair samples with known hair samples.

Lab work

  1. Explain the purpose of restriction enzymes for analyzing DNA.

Quizzes, Homework & Labs

  1. Using electrophoresis, analyze known and unknown samples of DNA.

Lab work

Additional Notes/Details: 

Other Course Requirements:

  • Properly organized, equipped, and maintained science lab and access to computers.
  • Electrophoresis equipment for testing DNA samples
  • Other equipment and consumables including micropipettes, fake blood, hair samples, ink pads, etc.