Forensic Science Class Is a Favorite Among Students

FORENSICS FUN -- Senior Katy Pollock enjoys reading the case studies Mrs. Cotreau assigns in class.

Allie Nedeau

FORENSICS FUN — Senior Katy Pollock enjoys reading the case studies Mrs. Cotreau assigns in class.

Payton Haley, Staff Writer

In Hamilton County, every high school student is required to take four science classes. Biology and chemistry are mandatory, and students may choose two other science classes. Central offers quite a variety of science electives, including ecology, family and consumer science, aquatic biology, physics, and forensic science. What a student chooses as their elective science is up to them, though some require more work than others. A lot of the science classes serve as a fun learning experience where kids can get into what they are learning by doing labs.

Forensic science is one of the many elective sciences offered, and it seems to be quite popular among students. Ms. Christina Cotreau duals as a forensics and a biology teacher.

“In a nutshell, [forensics] is the application of science through a law,” shared Cotreau.

Forensic science is a class where one gets to see the end of science that few get to experience. In the class, students learn to examine dead bodies to the point where they can identify the moment the person died; how to tell what angle someone was hit from according to their blood splatter; how to identify someone by their bite mark, the fiber of their clothing, and the size of their shoe; and whether a hair was pulled out or fell out. The class is fairly intense, but Cotreau and her students have a good time with it.

“I do enjoy it because it’s an application, so when kids ask ‘What are we going to do with this?’, then you’re like, ‘Well, you can do this with this,'” explained Cotreau.

Near the end of the class, students apply what they have learned in the class through a “shoebox crime-scene.” This is a project in which every student gets a shoebox and uses the knowledge obtained from the year to make it look like an actual crime scene. The project also includes a presentation on what happened to the victims and how they know that is what happened.

“Mrs. Cotreau makes it easier to concentrate and retain information because she’s not just handing us worksheet after worksheet. She demonstrates everything clearly and encourages us to ask questions if we don’t fully understand. The best part is, she really enjoys it, so we enjoy it,” shared forensics student Katie Chambers.

The students are now preparing for their forensics midterm, and they will pick back up when we return from Christmas Break in January.