- Listing Type: Summer Programs
- Destination: United States
- Program Delivery: Day, Residential
- Session Start: June
- Session Length: Three Weeks
- Entering Grade: 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
- Gender: Coed
- Category: STEM
- Sub-Categories: Forensic Science, Pre-Med, Biology
- Selective: No
- Ages: 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
- Minimum Cost: $1,500 - $2,999
- Call: (781) 431-2514
Precollege students will explore how the latest DNA and genetic testing and technologies can be used by law enforcement and medical examiners to identify the perpetrator of a crime, how dentists can use dental records to identify unknown murder victims, and how bite marks can be used to identify the perpetrator.
Cell biology, projectile physics surrounding blood splatter evidence, and anatomy all come into play in investigating crime scene evidence. Students are provided field notebooks at the beginning of the program, which they can use to record their research and take notes on detective work.
Most days begin with studies of Forensic Files–a dramatic video series on real-life crimes solved with forensic sciences. These videos help the students to become engaged in the topic and often set the mood for the day as well as introduce the day’s focus.
One of the most engaging projects involves observing a rotting piece of meat. Rich Fox leaves a piece of meat in a nearby field overnight. The students then observe at different times over the next few days which insects are attracted to it or even have laid their eggs inside! This experiment replicates a technique used by forensic scientists to identify how long a body has been dead and decaying.
In addition to examining a large variety of physical evidence, students performed a mock autopsy using fetal pig specimens. Students use the same incisions a forensic pathologist or medical examiner uses to conduct an autopsy on a human subject. Upon completion of the autopsy, students place all organs and connective tissue back into the body cavity and suture the Y incision closed using a curved suture needle and thread—much as a forensic pathologist would close a human subject.
Students also created facial reconstructions by hand, using oil based clay and in depth tissue measurements provided by forensic anthropologists. These facial reconstructions are often used to identify missing persons and victims in cold cases.
Other experiments include blood typing, hair follicle analysis, finger and thumb impressions, and estimating a person’s height based on their footprint and stride. These hands-on experiments give students a wide introduction to the many techniques utilized by forensic scientists.
Cost and Session Information
June 21 – July 9, 2021
Longwood Medical Area – Boston, MA