Forensic Science. Course Designed by Professor James T. Spencer, Ph.D.

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1 PROJECT ADVANCE CHEMISTRY 113 Forensic Science Course Designed by Professor James T. Spencer, Ph.D. Syracuse University Dual Enrollment College Level Course Offered at Hasbrouck Heights High School E. Brady Trexler, Ph.D. Hasbrouck Heights, NJ Course Description: Forensic Science is focused upon the application of scientific methods and techniques to crime and law. Recent advances in scientific methods and principles have had an enormous impact upon law enforcement and the entire criminal justice system. This course is intended to provide an introduction to understanding the science behind crime detection. Scientific methods specifically relevant to crime detection and analysis will be presented with emphasis placed upon the techniques used in evaluating physical evidence. Topics include blood analysis, organic and inorganic evidence analysis, microscopic investigations, hair analysis, DNA, drug chemistry and toxicology, fiber comparisons, paints, glass compositions and fragmentation, fingerprints, soil comparisons, and arson investigations. Laboratory component: This course is inquiry based; consequently, much of class time will be devoted to student learning in dry and wet laboratory activities. Experiments involve techniques frequently encountered in forensic investigations. The experiments may include (for example): safety practices in the chemistry laboratory, separating and identifying food dyes by paper chromatography, identifying a solid by its density, classifying carbohydrates, enantiomeric purity of commercial ibuprofen, qualitative tests for amino acids and proteins, DNA extraction, nine bottles: an adventure in chemical identification, the crime scene (analysis of evidence).

2 NJCCCS: Content Topics / Course Outline: Introduction: Definition and scope of forensic science, history and development of forensic science, the organization of a crime laboratory, services of the crime laboratory, the functions of the forensic scientist, other forensic science services. The Crime Scene: Processing the crime scene, legal considerations at the crime scene. Physical Evidence: Common types of physical evidence, the significance of physical evidence. Physical Properties: The metric (SI) system, physical properties of glass and soil, comparing glass fragments, glass fractures, collection and preservation of glass evidence, forensic characterization of soil, collection and preservation of evidence. Organic Analysis: Elements and compounds, selecting an analytical technique, chromatography, spectrophotometry, mass spectrometry. Inorganic Analysis: Evidence in the assassination of President Kennedy, the emission spectrum of elements, atomic absorption spectrophotometry, the origin of emission and absorption spectra, neutron activation analysis, X ray diffraction. The Microscope: The compound microscope, the comparison microscope, the stereoscopic microscope, the polarizing microscope, the microspectrophotometer, the scanning electron microscope (SEM). Hairs, Fibers and Paint: Morphology of hair, identification and comparison of hair, collection of hair evidence, types of fibers, identification and comparison of man made fibers, collection of fiber evidence, forensic examination of paint, collection and preservation of paint evidence. Drugs and Medicinal Chemistry: Drug dependence, narcotic drugs, hallucinogens, depressants, stimulants, anabolic steroids, drug control laws, drug identification, collection and preservation of drug evidence. Forensic Toxicology: Toxicology of alcohol, the role of the toxicologist, techniques used in toxicology, the significance of toxicological findings, the drug recognition expert. Forensic Aspects of Arson and Explosion Investigations: The chemistry of fire, searching the fire scene, collection and preservation of arson evidence, analysis of flammable residues, types of explosives, collection and analysis of explosives. Forensic Serology: The nature of blood, forensic characterization of bloodstains, stain pattern of blood, principles of heredity, forensic characterization of semen, collection of rape evidence. DNA Evidence: What is DNA? DNA at work, replication of DNA, recombinant DNA: cutting and splicing DNA, DNA typing, mitochondrial DNA, the combined DNA index system, the collection and preservation of biological evidence for DNA analysis. Fingerprints: History of fingerprinting, fundamental principles of fingerprints, classification of fingerprints, automated fingerprint identification systems, methods of detecting fingerprints, preservation of developed prints, digital imaging for fingerprint enhancement. Firearms, Tool Marks and Other Impressions: Bullet comparisons, cartridge cases, automated firearm search systems, gunpowder residues, primer residues on the hands, serial number restoration, collection and preservation of firearm evidence, tool marks, other impressions. Document and Voice Examination: Handwriting comparisons, collection of handwriting exemplars, typewriting comparisons, photocopies, printer and Fax examination, alterations, erasures and obliterations, other document problems, voice examination. Forensic Science on the Internet: What is the Internet? Where to go on the Internet, exploring forensic science of the World Wide Web, websites you may wish to explore.

3 Materials: TEXT: The required textbook for this course will be (beginning summer 2012) Introduction to Forensic Science: The science of Criminalistics by James T. Spencer published by Cengage. The laboratory materials will be determined and assigned by the instructor 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and problem solving Communication and collaboration Creativity and Innovation Access, evaluate, and synthesize information Flexibility and Adaptability Initiative and Self Direction Social and Cross Cultural Skills Productivity and Accountability Leadership and Responsibility Essential Questions: What is the nature of forensic evidence and how is it admitted to trial? How are crime scenes investigated? What is the scientific method and how has its use transformed criminal investigations? What are the tools/techniques used by forensic scientists? What is DNA and how is it analyzed for use in legal matters? How are blood samples and blood stain patters analyzed and used in legal matters? How are anatomical features such as hair and fingerprints used in legal matters? How are autopsies and forensic radiology/imaging used in legal matters? What are the ecological factors the analytical techniques that can provide information for forensic investigations? What kinds of chemical tests are used in forensic investigations? What are the spectroscopic techniques used by forensic scientists and what evidence do they provide? What substances are toxic, how do they inflict damage, and how are bodies tested for their presence? How are fires started and what analytical techniques uncover their origin? How are the physical properties of minerals, soil, glass and paint applicable to forensic investigations? What are the characteristics of projectiles and high velocity weapons (bullets, shells, and guns) that can be used to aid in building a legal case? How are documents, photographs, videos and voice recordings analyzed in forensic investigations? What are the applications of engineering (structure or device failure) and computers (software and cybersecurity) to criminal investigations? What psychological and sociological techniques are applied to forensic analysis?

4 Enduring Understandings: The admission of expert opinions and forensic science as evidence has varied over the history of criminal trials. Crime scenes hold a wealth of information but they must be analyzed in a meticulous and systematic manner. Proper application of the scientific method and careful experiments provide the strongest evidence. Fingerprint, DNA and blood evidence are the strongest factors in determining the identities of individuals at a crime scene. Anatomical and medical evidence can determine the cause of death. Ecological evidence, such as maggot development, can determine the post mortem interval. Gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry provides unequivocal evidence for the chemical composition of items found at a crime scene. Analysis of suspect or victim bodily fluids or breath can determine the presence and concentration of toxic substances and their contribution to inebriation or death. Chemical analysis of fire and explosive residues provide important evidence for forensic investigations. Physical properties of minerals, glass, soil and paint are important for determination of events at a crime scene. Firearms and projectiles have almost unique identifying characteristics that are used to determine their use at a crime scene. Suspects can be identified by analysis of photos, documents, video and voice recordings. Mechanical, civil, structural and software engineering disciplines are used by forensic scientists. Psychological and sociological analysis of suspects, victims, and their families and friends offer clues to motive and mental states. Textbook Table of Contents: I. Introduction Chapter 1: Introduction to Forensic Science: Introduction, Historic Development, and Legal Roles of Forensic Science Chapter 2: Crime Scene Investigations Chapter 3: Science, Pseudoscience and the Law II. Biological Evidence Chapter 4: Methods for Examining Biological Evidence Chapter 5: Biochemical Forensic Analysis I: DNA Chapter 6: Biochemical Forensic Analysis II: Serology Chapter 7: Anatomical Evidence: The Outside Story Chapter 8: Forensic Medicine: The Inside Story Chapter 9: Forensic Anthropology Chapter 10: Forensic Ecology Chapter 12: Forensic Spectroscopy Chapter 13: Forensic Toxicology Chapter 14: Forensic Arson and Explosives IV. Physical Properties in Evidence Chapter 15: Physical Properties: Mineralogical, Soil, Glass, and Paint Analysis Chapter 16: Firearms, Ballistics, and Impression Evidence Chapter 17: Forensic Document Analysis, Photographic and Video Analysis, and Voice Identification and Linguistics Chapter 18: Engineering and Computer Forensics V. Behavioral Forensic Evidence Chapter 19: Behavioral Social Sciences: Psychology and Sociology III. Chemical Evidence Chapter 11: Overview of Chemical Evidence

5 Course Structure: There are ~145 class meetings spread over the ~33 weeks before June. Since the majority of this class is seniors, the final exam will be held in class after Memorial Day at the end of May. The practice of scientific inquiry through experimentation in labs and class activities is a core component of the Anatom y and Physiology curriculum. Approximately 40-50% of class time will be devoted to hands-on labs. Approximately 40-50% of class time will be devoted to lectures. The remaining ~10% allows for assessments of the students progress through quizzes and exams. Lab component There are numerous in class activities that allow for experimentation, data collection, and critical analysis of the results. Pre lab assignments will prepare you for the in class activities. Lecture component Students are assigned reading for each lecture. A teacher generated list of concepts and vocabulary guides their reading. Lectures are Powerpoint based, drawing from internet and publisher materials; however, some material is best served by chalkboard lectures. Assessments o Lab write-ups are reports of the labs purpose, methods, data collected, analyses and conclusions. Some lab activities and experiments span multiple days. Therefore, the reports are due at the beginning of class on the day after the experiments are finished. o Daily Quizzes test the students grasp of the concepts at various stages in a unit. Quizzes may be given to assess understanding of prelab concepts or previous lectures. They are collected at random for marking, but when not collected, answers are given and students correct the quizzes themselves. o Unit Tests are more comprehensive assessments that cover one or two chapters. They require higher level thinking than the quizzes, utilizing higher objectives from Bloom s Taxonomy such as Apply and Evaluate. They are constructed using multiple choice and open ended questions. Student Evaluation: Assessments At least 8 per marking period Assignment Percent of Grade Homework (Reading, prelabs, etc) 10% Labs Write-ups 15% Daily Quizzes 20% Unit Tests 45% In Class Participation 10%

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