Youth Learned Basics About Forensics During Program

Dr. Craig Coates teaching students in classroom

Dr. Craig Coates introducing the students to forensics and the Department of Entomology’s Forensics program. Submitted photo.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Twenty-two high school students that participated in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ STARS Program got a taste of what it is like to be a forensic scientist as Dr. Craig Coates taught the group during a session in the Heep center in early July.

The session was a part of the two-day program called the Summer Training in Agriculture and Related Sciences, or STARS, program. The program brings high school students to the Texas A&M University campus where they learn about all of the degree programs and career and college preparation, as well as networking with various members of the Department and College.

During the presentation, Coates told students that what they learn from their science classes, such as biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental science, is utilized in forensic sciences. He also encouraged them to learn as much science as they could and what jobs are available if they wanted to do forensic sciences as a field of study.

Students working with bloodspatter analysis

Students got to practice what they had learned during an interactive demonstration. Submitted photo.

Students were then divided into groups where they got the chance to analyze various bloodspatter patterns, shapes and sizes and calculated the angles of incidence and points of origin of the patterns.

“It was an enjoyable time with some attentive students who were interested in forensics and several related fields,” Coates said. “It’s great that the STARS program brings these students onto campus to get a feel for the academic opportunities that exist here.”

Program coordinator Andrea Jackson was pleased with the session and said Coates really had the students interested in forensics.

“I was really pleased! He was very easy to understand and explained forensic science in a way where each student understood his description,” she said. “I enjoyed his presentation and even his background is very interesting. Our counselors had good feedback, especially when he mentioned some of his research projects.”

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