The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 1, 2008


CCHS students dig into forensics

This year the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (CCHS) science department is offering a new elective class in forensics. The teacher, Dr. Mike Vela, came to the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC) meeting on January 22 with several students for a live demonstration of what they are learning in class.

The students cleaned areas of the table in front of RSC members and then placed their fingerprints there. RSC members learned how to dust the area, find the prints, preserve the prints on tape and then compare the prints to the students' fingerprints that were on a sheet of paper.

The process did not go as smoothly as expected, which was a great segue for Dr. Vela to say, "It's not easy. It's not straightforward." He told the crowd, that unlike the TV shows, you may not have the answers in an hour.

Vela gave an overview of scientific topics that are covered, emphasizing the hands-on nature of the class. Students must learn parts of anthropology, entomology and ballistics. They study blood splatter, blood typing, DNA analysis, hair and fibers and handwriting analysis. Physics, chemistry and biology are all part of the course.

Generally, Vela lectures one period a week and the rest of the classes are labs. Fitzgerald complimented Vela and his students on their enthusiasm and thanked them for showing the RSC what was happening in the classroom.

2008 The Carlisle Mosquito