"Crime Scene" Project
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"Crime Scene" Project

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Mr. Andrew Fairchild explains a project that he conducted with his students in NYC.

Mr. Andrew Fairchild explains a project that he conducted with his students in NYC.

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"Crime Scene" Project "Crime Scene" Project Presentation Transcript

  • Introduction
    • Living Environment teacher in Jamaica, Queens
    • 5 th year teaching
    • I teach 9 th graders (and love it)
    • Background on the school: 100 students per grade level, small class size (~20 students), students are diverse and poor
    • Starting in midNovember, I had students embark on a 2 week culminating project that incorporated multiple skills and concepts and required them to demonstrate mastery in a realistic setting
  • Project: Overview
    • For two weeks, students (in groups of 3) had been investigating a crime scene. The crime scene took place in our school building, and all the teachers on staff that day were possible suspects . Students had gathered evidence from multiple sources (blood work, hair samples, fiber samples, footprints, interviews, fingerprints, etc.). Students then charged a suspect with the crime and defended their accusation in the courtroom.
  • The Project: Presentation Component
    • Students, now acting as prosecutors , presented their findings in front of a jury (their fellow classmates and a few administrators were the jury ). I served as the judge.
    • Students had to present all of their evidence, and explain how their evidence led them to believe the suspect is guilty.
    • Students also called on an expert witness , who appeared via Skype to corroborate their findings, technique, or logic.
  • The Project: Assessment
    • Students were partly evaluated by their peers. Each member of the jury filled out a critique sheet and gave feedback.
    • I evaluated their performance based on a rubric that was shown to the students ahead of time.
  • Relevancy
    • Realistic portrayal of what a “crime-fighting team” would have to go through in order to prove someone was guilty
    • Same types of evidence and evidence gathered techniques used by professionals
    • Court room experience that mimics multiple elements of a real life courtroom, including cross examination, witness testimony, a “jury”
  • Relationship to Science
    • Allowed students to use many scientific tools
    • Project allowed me to incorporate multiple units, including the scientific method
    • Project lends itself to a very-inquiry based approach
  • Literacy and Communication
    • Communicating findings to panel orally
    • E xplaining how to interpret gel electrophoresis results to people not familiar with science
    • Need to support their explanation with visual aids (i.e. posters that explain how they eliminated suspects and came to a conclusion)
    • Must conduct online research of scholarly articles to support findings
  • Integration of Technology
    • Skyping to interview a key witness during trial (using webcam, computer, and TV)
    • Use of the Smartboard to explain how interpret gel electrophoresis results
    • Creating an excel spreadsheet to track data
    • Gel electrophoresis to separate DNA fragments
  • Challenges
    • Internet Access at home
    • Children’s exposure to, familiarity with, and mastery of support technologies, like Excel and PowerPoint
    • Organizing and interpreting data from multiple sources
  • What I learned
    • Students enjoying themselves = learning without realizing they are learning
    • Students will rise to a challenge you think is beyond them
    • Hook children with relevancy early in the task
    • Planning early paid off
  • Questions?