Loreto College - Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland
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Students using their skills of Science and deduction at the Year 9 Forensics workshop - View Full Size Image
Students using their skills of Science and deduction at the Year 9 Forensics workshop
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All Year 9 students at Loreto College Coleraine, Specialist School, took part in a half-day workshop on Forensics on Friday 22nd October 2010.

Presented by a qualified and experienced Forensic Scientist on secondment from work with the New York Police Department, the workshop introduced students to the career opportunities open to them in the world of crime investigation, and the relevance to this of their studies in Science.  The workshop was also facilitated by members of the Biology Department, including Mrs Sheila McBroom, Co-ordinator of Junior Science at Loreto College. 

During the course of the morning, the students worked collaboratively on a problem-solving exercise.  They were presented with a scenario in which a female student had been murdered; they then proceeded around a series of stations which presented them with various pieces of evidence which led towards the solving of the mystery.  The stations tested the students’ skills of observation, as well as alerting them to the relevance of elements such as DNA, moulding, blood groups and so on.

With enthusiasm levels among the students showing tremendous appreciation for the workshop, it was deemed a great success by Mrs Sheila McBroom, who co-ordinated the event.  Mr Frank Scullion, Head of Science at Loreto College, commented: “The workshop allowed the pupils to see (and use) real applications of science. Such activities challenge the pupils in a number of other ways – working effectively with others in small groups – listening and observing carefully to build all the evidence, and so on.”

Mr Brian Lenehan, Principal of Loreto College, paid tribute to all those who took part in the Forensics workshop, commenting that it had provided a valuable experience for the students to put their learning into the context of an interesting and challenging career.