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Solving Mysteries

Updated: Feb 11, 2022

North Scott High School has introduced a new class to its roster—Forensic Science! North Scott’s website lists the class as a 12th-grade elective, and it’s open to anyone who has taken chemistry and biology. The class, taught by Paula Nemmers-Skarich and Allie Miguel, teaches students interested in forensic science about the process and chains of command when solving a crime.

According to Nemmers-Skarich, “the purpose of the forensics class is to show students how all sciences can be applied to real-world applications. The class incorporates biology, chemistry, physics, and especially critical thinking skills. The goal of the class is to use these skills to solve mysteries.”

The science teachers needed a new class, so they polled the science classes, and Forensics won with the most interest. The class curriculum is similar to other classes used to train real-life Forensic investigators.

When asked about the creation of the curriculum, Nemmers-Skarich said, “that has been the fun part of the course. I taught forensics before I came to North Scott, so I started with that curriculum. From there, the structure of the class just keeps changing with new materials being added. We like to change the cases so that they are different from semester to semester. There has never been a semester that the class has been the same—it just keeps evolving.”

The workload of the class is a lot, but it is a lot of fun. As a member of the class, I find that the amount of fun and immersion in the case offsets the workload. The changes in cases and the fun activities used to teach the standards allow for something new each semester. With a positive response from students, interest in the class has grown! The first classes began in the fall semester and have grown in popularity due to student enjoyment.

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