As a child, we often times dream about playing a character on our favorite investigation show. For students in Kasha Gorham’s class, students were able to see their dreams come to life.
Due to a grant provided and funded by the Midway ISD Education Foundation, Kasha Gorham’s class was able to receive a complete tool mark identification kit as well as a basic firearm identification kit.
The opportunities gained from this grant have provided students with a chance to gain more hands-on experience and work with items they might have previously seen on television. Having this grant implemented has also allowed students to gain more knowledge about what forensic science is really about and how it is different compared to what they see on television shows.
“These activities aided in seeing the ‘behind the scenes’ work that is part of some crime scene investigations,” Gorham said.
When performing the grant evaluation and its success, students were given a scenario where they had to figure out which suspect’s bullet matched the bullet found at the crime scene. Students used the comparison microscope to analyze the bullets side-by-side. After many in between steps, students reached the process of narrowing down the results allowing them to use the microscope to see how the rifling marks matched up and to find a positive match on the bullet and the suspect.
“Having actual bullets and tools to perform comparisons with gives students a more realistic, hands-on experience. I have found activities that use paper with marks on them help simulate the processes, but it doesn’t provide the same experience as these materials do,” Gorham said.
This grant has made students more eager to be in the classroom where they can put their newly acquired skills to work. They are able to identify marks made by different tools as well as analyze and identify the original firearm used based off of the bullets and cartridges.
Gorham beamed as she said that these experiments “…showed them the skills, patience, and dedication professionals in these fields must have. I am honored to have received these supplies to give the students this unique opportunity.”
By Kaitlyn Harp