Youths Learn Forensics from Tomberlin, Tarone Labs During Program

Grad student Ashleigh Faris teaching students about bloodspatter patterns during an outside session of the Forensics class.

Tarone Lab grad student Ashleigh Faris teaching students about bloodspatter patterns during an outside session of the Forensics class.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Grad students from Dr. Jeffery Tomberlin’s and Aaron Tarone’s labs gave students a short course in forensic and investigative sciences during the 2012 Youth Adventure Program this summer.

Held during the last week of July, participants in the program are highly motivated to learn, think, and solve problems, and they typically have a strong interest in going to a college, university, and/or professional school. Each student selects one area of interest and studies only that area for an entire YAP session, getting in-depth insights into the experiences of professionals in that particular field.

Youths watched as lab members demonstrated various forensic and investigative science techniques, including measuring bloodspatter patterns, lifting fingerprints from different media, measuring blunt force and sharp force trauma, and collecting evidence at crime scenes.

During the Friday session, youths used what was learned in the hands-on demonstrations as they were divided into teams and assigned various mock crime scenes to investigate. The teams then created a report and presented it to the class during the afternoon.

This is the fifth year that Tomberlin’s grad students have helped volunteer. He said the program was a great way for the youths to learn about forensics and the Forensic and Investigative Sciences program.

“The program is an excellent mechanism through which Texas A&M can recruit future students,” he said. “I also see it as an excellent opportunity for us to showcase the Forensic and Investigative Sciences program.”

This was Ph.D. student Lue Cuttiford’s first time to help teach during a session and she said that it was a great way to get teaching experience, as well as brush up on skills.

“This is going to be great practice for me,” she said.

This also was Tarone lab member and grad student Ashleigh Faris’ first time to be with the program. She loved it so far.

“This is a great way for the kids to get exposed to forensic sciences,” Faris said. “It’s also nice that they get to see a different side to forensics other than what is shown on television. It is totally different.”

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