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When science class is forensic

August 1, 2008 5:21:32 PM PDT
Students had no problem paying attention in this class on forensic science. "This class is very interesting. We learn a lot of useful things from the forensic field; how to really be pioneers in the field. It's a lot of hard work, but we get it done," Alena Banton said.

"We have homicides. We have burglaries. These are very different types of crimes and we have to know how to secure our samples," the instructor explained.

The four week course at Bronx Community College was for juniors and seniors at several high schools.

"It improved my interest in science. Before I was just, like, 'Oh, science... whatever,' but now, it's like you actually want to go somewhere in science so you have to work harder," Ifeome Nwaedozie said.

They learned to examine and evaluate evidence such as fingerprints, hair samples and d-n-a, as they became amateur forensic detectives.

In one case, they solved a so-called educational whodunnit -- a real life crime. The circumstances were re-simulated for the class.

"The case was about a couple who was found massacred in their house, and the suspects were the daughter, her boyfriend and a neighbor, and it turned out it was the daughter," Jose Murickan said.

"We got it right before the actual people who were solving it did. We had it right, so that was good. A confidence booster," jasmine parks said.

We're told there is a strong need for new crime solvers with an expertise in forensic science. As a result of this class, apparently some students would like to answer the call.

"I want to become a forensic pathologist, hopefully. A long-term career goal," Banton said.

"It's kind of interesting solving the crime. The thrill of catching that person," Murickan said.

Instructors say advances in forensic technology have helped make the science of crime-solving a more attractive career choice.

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