A group of high school students are becoming CSI math students, as they find that learning and applying math concepts to classic crime scene investigation techniques is interesting and shows real life applications.
Teacher Jaime Silva found that showing Moriarty High School students the real life applications of pre-calculus and trigonometry worked when putting them to work in scenes they understand from popular culture.
“It came to me that they all are familiar with shows like ‘CSI’ and ‘Criminal Minds,’” Silva said.
For two weeks, the crime scene the students investigated was created in the parking lot. The fictional shooting involved blood spatters, fingerprints, and tire tracks. The students had to use trigonometry ratios to estimate the height of the suspect from blood spatter angles.
Students also analyzed lie detector tests, applying mathematical concepts of amplitude and frequency, and used geometric ideas in fingerprinting.