St. Maryʼs College High School Forensic Science

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1 Instructor: Ms. Fakhri Shafai Tutor Times Room: 228 Monday: 11:40-12:30 in room 228 Office Phone: x 408 Tuesday: 3:30-4:30 in room Thursday: 3:00-4:00 in room 228 Website: or by individual appointment St. Maryʼs College High School Forensic Science Course Description: Forensic Science is a fast paced multidisciplinary college preparatory course that meets the University of California Area g - College Prep Elective in the area of Integrated Science. This is a year long course intended for students who are serious about applying themselves and are mature enough to handle the wide range of topics learned and properly use potentially harmful laboratory materials. The course bridges science based inquiry and the criminal justice system. Forensic Science integrates core concepts from the primary area of Biology and will touch upon Chemistry and Physics building upon these interweaving themes at an advanced level. This course utilizes lecture, extensive laboratory activities and experiments, scientific literature/case study analysis, forensic competitions and demonstrations in a forensic context which will allow students to apply the scientific method to develop their writing, problem solving and critical thinking skills in a biological context. Inquiry based laboratory investigations and analysis play a central role in the course. Students will apply the foundations of Biology and Chemistry to solve mock criminal investigations using a wide range of laboratory techniques used today to process and analyze evidence. Topics covered will include: crime scene analysis, physical/chemical analysis of various evidence types, advance microscopy, chromatography, hair/fiber/glass analysis, fingerprint comparison, comparative analysis, document analysis, firearms/ballistics, drugs/toxicology, entomology, anthropology, blood (serology) and DNA analysis among others. Materials: Textbook: Forensic Science: The Basics, Jay A. Siegel, CRC Taylor & Francis, 2007 Binder with notebook paper and dividers Pen and Pencil Course Goals and/or Major Student Outcomes: Apply the major concepts in biology, chemistry, and physics as the basis for solving crimes. Design and conduct scientific investigations by identifying questions and concepts that guide forensic science. Use technology and mathematics to improve investigations and communications. Formulate and revise scientific explanations and models using logic and evidence.

2 Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and models. Communicate and defend scientific argument. Students will use their newly acquired knowledge and skills to answer questions, solve problems (crimes), and communicate effectively supporting their conclusions. Assessment and Grading Procedures: Students will be assessed on their cumulative performance in the following areas: Science Content/Concepts: (20%) A variety of scientific concepts will be explored throughout this course. Students will be expected to be able to discuss scientific principles and how those principles relate to forensic science. Vocabulary and terminology will be taught and students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of said terminology when appropriate. Evaluations: (20%) Students will be expected to do a variety of research and opinion papers that require students to thoroughly examine a given topic and find scientific support for a stance on that issue. These papers will directly relate to the unit of study and ask students to synthesize what they have learned with ethical and moral dilemmas that face forensic scientists and the criminal justice system. Analysis: (20%) Students will be presented with many situations in this course that require thoughtful and thorough analysis. Case studies will be assigned to give students background knowledge and will allow students to use critical analysis skills to logically determine who done it. Students will also employ analysis skills when presented with data/evidence from a given crime scene. Laboratory Performance/Results: (20%) Students will be instructed in using a variety of technical laboratory skills throughout this course and must demonstrate mastery of the individual laboratory skill. Students will also be expected to complete laboratory packets and present results. Final/Mock Trial: (20%) Fall and Spring Final Exams - Mock trial; Multiple crime scenes will be set up with evidence examined in the course of the semester as well as extraneous materials. Students will be assigned specialized groups for evidence analysis; jurors, attorneys, witnesses. Each student will play the role of forensic scientist in one scenario, and courtroom participant the other.

3 Grades: Grades are based on points earned. If you have any questions, please talk with Ms. Shafai. Grading System A % A % B % B 84-86% B % C % C 74-76% C % D % D 64-66% D % F 0-59% Grading Criteria The A Student Consistently superior comprehension and performance on assessments. Exhibits work with exceptional insight or special creative talents. Tends toward self-direction in activities and participates in class activities as listener, questioner or commentator. Completes all assignments The B Student Consistently strong comprehension and performance on assessments but may have difficulties synthesizing concepts. Work is consistent but offers little insight or special creative talents. Shows occasional initiative but tends to rely on teacher direction. Participates in class activities as listener but is a less frequent questioner or commentator. Completes all assignments. The C Student Inconsistent or fair comprehension and performance on assessments. Difficulties applying and synthesizing concepts. Generally addresses the explicit but seldom offers little insight or special creative talents. Relies on teacher direction. Participates in class primarily as a listener. Usually comments only if questioned. Completes most assignments The D Student Minimum comprehension and performance on assessments. Often misses explicit relationships. Relies on teacher direction. Participates in class primarily as a listener. Comments only if questioned. Fair number of assignments are missing.

4 Late Work: Late work is accepted up until one week prior to the end of the grading period. Students are given three freebie assignments per semester- meaning that no credit will be deducted for the first three late assignments of the semester. If a student has an excessive number of late assignments, the student is setting himself/herself up for failure. As such, any student who is in danger of falling too far behind to successfully master the course content will be required to attend office hours with Ms. Shafai in order to get caught up and develop a time-management plan. The studentʼs counselor and parents/guardians will be notified if he or she is required to attend office hours. Such situations can require students to give up (at least temporarily) extracurricular activities until they have mastered the material missed and are caught up with the rest of the class. Tardies: Tardies are unacceptable unless excused by the attendance office. Absences: If absent, all work missed must be turned in within the given number of days that you were absent. (If you miss Friday and Monday [2 days], you have until Thursday to turn in missed work). This policy pertains to missed quizzes and exams as well. If you miss class notes, be sure to get them! You donʼt want to miss something that may be on a quiz or an exam. Telephone policy: There are telephones installed in the classrooms. These phones are for emergency use only and are not to be used by students at any time. If a cellular phone is heard, seen, or used in the classroom, it will be taken away and given to Mr. Shum. As stated in the Parent-Student Handbook, all such disruptions will result in a detention. Academic Honesty: As stated in the Parent-Student Handbook, any sort of infraction will be taken seriously with subsequent consequences. Instructor Requirements: Be in class and seated or checking in homework when the bell rings. Bring appropriate materials to class and lab. Be ready and willing to participate each day. Notes and work should be legible and understandable for all to read It is the studentʼs responsibility to see me about missed work during absences. Any assignments must be done on the day they are due. Come to class ready to learn, to have fun, and to share information with your classmates. For any further guidelines or policies not mentioned in Ms. Shafaiʼs syllabus, I follow those that are stated in the Parent-Student Handbook

5 Forensic Science signature page I,, have read and understand the policies listed in the Class Syllabus. STUDENT SIGNATURE:. I,, have read and understood the policies listed in the Class Syllabus. PARENT SIGNATURE:.

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