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CES: Forensic Science
Course Length: 9 Weeks
Has Textbook: No
Forensic Science, a two-unit course, will introduce students to the fascinating worlds of crime scene investigation and laboratory science. Students will learn the fundamental procedures involved in investigating and processing forensic evidence. They will explore historic and theoretical crime scenes and apply the procedural methods required for examination, collection, and documentation of evidence. They will also explore the forensics lab to learn about testing methods, equipment, safety measures, and results interpretation. Additionally, students will explore the various fields and careers in forensic science. 

It is recommended that students considering registering for CES: Forensic Science successfully complete at least one year of high school biology before enrolling in this course.

Course Objectives

Unit 1: Essential Content and Skills

  • Explore and contrast types of evidence and describe the concept of chain-of-custody of evidence.
  • Describe the role, services, and procedures of crime laboratories.
  • Describe proper lab practices for the analysis of forensic evidence, as well as identifying the common analytical techniques used in crime labs today.
  • Compare the different types of microscopes commonly used in forensic labs, and identify how they function and how they are used in forensic applications.
  • Identify how shoe and tire impression evidence is useful and how comparisons are performed.
  • Describe what a latent print examiner does, and explain fingerprint collection, processing, and comparison.
  • Describe what a firearms examiner does, and describe firearms evidence and explore the science behind trajectory analysis (ballistics).

Unit 2: Essential Content and Skills

  • Discuss techniques employed to collect and analyze DNA in the field of forensic science.
  • Examine procedures for categorizing controlled substances (drugs) according to their legal classification in the United States and how drugs are chemically analyzed in the forensic laboratory.
  • Examine procedures for hair analysis, and decide how information from a hair analysis can contribute to a crime scene investigation.
  • Provide details on how to perform a direction of force analysis on glass to understand how glass can be used as evidence
  • Describe the basics of fire and explosion scenes and the laboratory analysis of fire evidence.
  • Describe what a questioned document examiner does and the techniques used in forensic document examinations.
  • Explain the role and responsibilities of the expert witness, along with the best techniques for presenting and defending evidence in court.

Course Materials

  • This course is textbook free.

**NCAA approved