Dozens of students gathered in the Matanzas High School dining hall to explore a crime scene, Thursday, Nov. 19, courtesy of the University of Central Florida Forensic Science Association.
“Setting up these labs gave us a great opportunity to expose students to forensics and allow them to view our textbook assignments through real world application.” –Matanzas High School Forensic Science teacher Gloria Barton
Matanzas High School students were given the opportunity to explore a mock crime scene and collect evidence to uncover a mystery killer on Thursday, Nov. 19. The event was the first of its kind, and based on the ample interest shown by the students, there will be more crime scenes to come. Different interactive lab stations were set up inside the schools dining hall and in the court yard. Each student was given the opportunity to view their collected samples from the crime scene under stereo microscopes and examine the acquired blood samples with the Kastle-Meyer Test. Other stations included fingerprint lifting, document examination, evidence collection, bloodstain pattern analysis and the burning of residual chemicals. University of Central Florida Forensic Science Association students were stationed at each lab to work one-on-one with the high school students.
“Our goal today was to spark the student’s interest and give them realistic expectations on what the job entails,” Flagler County CSI Forensic and Evidence Unit Manager Laura Pazarena said.
The event was optional for all the students as extra credit in their science classes. An abundant interest was shown as the dining hall jostled with students taking turns collecting hair samples and throwing sponges covered in red paint to recreate a murder scene.
“I started becoming interested in forensic science this year, through the class I am taking with Ms. Barton,” Matanzas High School Junior Lonnesa Perkins said. “It seems to be a rewarding career, because it solves crimes and helps people. I plan to pursue the career in college and eventually be hired on as a civilian.”