Students Prepare "Crime Scene" for "ForenSTEMics" Night

Students and their parents learn about STEM careers

Hopkins, SC (WLTX) Hopkins Middle School is showing kids and parents what careers in the STEM fields might look like with their second "ForenSTEMics" night.
Dr. Sharon Newton is one of the teachers leading the way.  She says, she took some of her ideas from the CBS crime show, CSI, saying, "I always thinkg I know who did it. But then I see the different technologies and scenes and how the implement and solve the crime with all the forensics. Its amazng."

So now there is a crime scene at Hopkins Middle School.  But this "crime" is not for the experts, its for students and parents to solve Tuesay night during the 2nd annual "ForenSTEMics" night. But this is more than just a "Who Dunit." Dr. Newton says there are definite processes to go through to figure out the mystery. She says, "They will have to go through each of the processes tell what they see and identify things that are not supposed to be there like in a regular crime scene."

There will be a body, blood, made of food coloring of course, and evidence strewn around a "lake." Students and their parents will try to figure out how this person died. They'll figure out if it was a murder, or something else. It's all a lesson in possible STEM careers.  Seventh grader, Crafton Cunningham is a student facilitator of the investigation.  He says,"Stem stands for Science Technology Engineering and Mathmatics."

Students and parents will cluster into small groups and follow a schedule with activity guides and discussion points.
Groups will participate in four rotating workshops during ForenSTEMics Night: Digital Forensic Photography: Document all aspects of a "crime scene" and write a police report to submit as evidence to be used in court; Detective's Casebook: Study handwriting samples, blood types, and analyze fingerprints found at the "crime scene" to identify suspects; Mystery Powders: Use scientific methods to test the physical and chemical properties of five unknown powder substances found at the "crime scene"  They even get an Introduction to water pollution and perform colorimetric chemical analyses on water samples near the "crime scene" to test for possible contaminants.

Students and teachers have created the crime scene and decided what it will take to solve it. Both students and parents will be using critical thinking skills to learn as they get to the bottom of the blood by the pond.   Cunningham says, "Its more hands on. You will be learning more than just with workbooks and notes."

Hopkins Middle School Principal, Bobbie Hartwell, Jr.  says its important for parents to not only see what the students are learning but how there are. He says,  "The more we get parents involved the more our student achievement is going to increase.  More than 500 students attend the school.  Hartwell is hoping to get at least 100 there with their parents.

Hopkins Middle School, a candidate for the IB Middle Years Program, with the support of EngenuitySC, is focused on STEM-based learning for  their students.


THE  ForenSTEMics Night," AT HOPKINS Middle School (1601 Clarkson Road, Hopkins, S.C. 29061), is Tuesday, November 29, FROM 6:30-7:pm
 


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