"Crime Scene" Project


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

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"Crime Scene" Project

  1. 1. Introduction <ul><li>Living Environment teacher in Jamaica, Queens </li></ul><ul><li>5 th year teaching </li></ul><ul><li>I teach 9 th graders (and love it) </li></ul><ul><li>Background on the school: 100 students per grade level, small class size (~20 students), students are diverse and poor </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  2. 2. Project: Overview <ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Project: Presentation Component <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Students had to present all of their evidence, and explain how their evidence led them to believe the suspect is guilty. </li></ul><ul><li>Students also called on an expert witness , who appeared via Skype to corroborate their findings, technique, or logic. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Project: Assessment <ul><li>Students were partly evaluated by their peers. Each member of the jury filled out a critique sheet and gave feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>I evaluated their performance based on a rubric that was shown to the students ahead of time. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Relevancy <ul><li>Realistic portrayal of what a “crime-fighting team” would have to go through in order to prove someone was guilty </li></ul><ul><li>Same types of evidence and evidence gathered techniques used by professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Court room experience that mimics multiple elements of a real life courtroom, including cross examination, witness testimony, a “jury” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Relationship to Science <ul><li>Allowed students to use many scientific tools </li></ul><ul><li>Project allowed me to incorporate multiple units, including the scientific method </li></ul><ul><li>Project lends itself to a very-inquiry based approach </li></ul>
  7. 7. Literacy and Communication <ul><li>Communicating findings to panel orally </li></ul><ul><li>E xplaining how to interpret gel electrophoresis results to people not familiar with science </li></ul><ul><li>Need to support their explanation with visual aids (i.e. posters that explain how they eliminated suspects and came to a conclusion) </li></ul><ul><li>Must conduct online research of scholarly articles to support findings </li></ul>
  8. 8. Integration of Technology <ul><li>Skyping to interview a key witness during trial (using webcam, computer, and TV) </li></ul><ul><li>Use of the Smartboard to explain how interpret gel electrophoresis results </li></ul><ul><li>Creating an excel spreadsheet to track data </li></ul><ul><li>Gel electrophoresis to separate DNA fragments </li></ul>
  9. 9. Challenges <ul><li>Internet Access at home </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s exposure to, familiarity with, and mastery of support technologies, like Excel and PowerPoint </li></ul><ul><li>Organizing and interpreting data from multiple sources </li></ul>
  10. 10. What I learned <ul><li>Students enjoying themselves = learning without realizing they are learning </li></ul><ul><li>Students will rise to a challenge you think is beyond them </li></ul><ul><li>Hook children with relevancy early in the task </li></ul><ul><li>Planning early paid off </li></ul>
  11. 11. Questions?