Science Principles To Be Taught Using Forensics
In two hours of lecture and two hours of lab, the course will cover fundamentals in general, organic and biochemistry, and general and molecular biology, using modern lab instrumentation. Among the topics will be fingerprinting, DNA analysis, bone, tooth, and hair analysis, blood typing, and over-the-counter drug analysis. Students will analyze various substances using chromatography which provides a graph unique for each sample. There will be group projects and discussions, use of actual crime scene photos, and presentation of evidence based on real and hypothetical cases.
Blinderman and Tanzini participate in Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibilities (SENCER), an NSF-funded national project to create learning experiences that help students become civically engaged and develop a greater awareness of the world around them. They attended a five-day workshop in San Jose last summer with several other MCCC faculty members that promoted this concept.
A field trip to the New Jersey State Crime Lab is planned for each semester. Guest speakers may include a forensic anthropologist and forensic entomologist who is a Mercer grad.
The college has been very supportive of their effort. Tanzini and Blinderman were awarded a mini-grant to develop the course and received funding to purchase essential equipment such as skull models, skeletons from different ethnicities, slides of hair and skin types, supplies to prepare individual student slides; and sheep eyeballs and hearts, which are good for study since they closely resemble human organs.
The course prerequisite is MAT 034; corequisite is ENG101.