Students have the opportunity to combine medical science with law enforcement studies, as a high school biomedical class teaches crime scene investigation.
As Omar Aguilar crouched on the floor, he studied a collection of blood spatters.
He performed some calculations, marking a sheet, while other students studied their own blood spatter evidence. They created this by using “zombie” blood dropped from eyedroppers from different heights. Crime scene tape was placed across a corner of the classroom, where the deceased person was represemted by a mannequin.
“We looked at blood spatter found at our crime scene, and we’re trying to see from what height they were dropped,” said Aguilar, 17, a senior at Kaneland High School and one of 24 students in the biomedical sciences class at Fox Valley Career Center. “It’s based on crime scene factors.”
This new four-year class, made possible by a $101,339 grant from the John C. Dunham Fund, covers principles of biomedical sciences, human body systems, medical interventions and biomedical innovation.
The course comes from Project Lead the Way, a nonprofit organization that partners with schools for science, technology, engineering and math curriculum that is hands-on real-world problem solving.
The Fox Valley Career Center has 571 students from Aurora West, Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, Central and Kaneland school districts who can take courses in 17 careers – including health occupations, automotive technology, welding, horticulture, Web design, law enforcement and fire science.
The biomedical science instructor, Janelle McCornack, explained unlike in other lab courses, in which students follow a “cookbook” to achieve a correct answer, here students create their own labs using science to find correct answers by trial and error.
One thing they all learn quickly, however: Crime scene work is painstaking, tedious and incredibly detailed – not anything like it is portrayed on various TV crime shows.