Chalk Outlines and Math in Forensic Science

At Southview High School this year, students are receiving a cool new opportunity: Forensic Science. The new course enables students to explore the diversity of science disciplines that come into play when conducting forensic investigations. Of course, forensics is a popular field in current American culture, but teacher Jay Euler helps students surpass superficial television investigations to get into the serious business of science. The work has appealed to students, and Forensic Science has rapidly become one of the most popular classes in an already-popular department.

Want proof? Just check out how senior Madi Duling describes a typical activity in class:

“When a warm day comes around, Mr. Euler likes to take advantage of it. On Friday, September 15 the Forensic Science classes all went outside with rulers, chalk, string, and their bodies. We all found a partner, grabbed some chalk, and got to work. One of us laid on the ground while our partner outlined out body. Once we were done, we had to take string and use it to measure our chalk outlines. The easy part was finding the perimeter, something we all had down. Then, Mr. Euler instructed us to collaborate with other groups to find the area. You can only imagine how unusual the shapes were. This wasn’t any normal length multiplied by height case. We all sat and brainstormed what to do. Eventually the outcome was sectioning off the bodies into the best rectangular pieces and finding the area of each. After recording the measurements, we added them together to get our total. Most people would be surprised how much math is actually used in forensics. Measuring perimeter, area, or even drawing crime scenes to scale is applying math to forensics. This class is a great learning environment to utilize your skills while learning new ones. As a reflection of our own learning, Mr. Euler had us write a story for ‘Southview Spotlight.’ It looks like he picked mine!”

Thanks, Madi!

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