My goal is to develop a curriculum unit that is both educational and interesting. This will be an interdisciplinary curriculum that ties together the different scientific disciplines and shows how engineering in modern medicine contains a depth of chemistry that all the students will be able to analyze and understand. Following the completion of this unit, students will be able to:
· Identify characteristics that make different chemicals unique from each other.
· Use chemical spectra and other chemical assays to identify organic and inorganic chemicals that are classified as unknown at the initiation of the investigation.
· Identify chemicals as being basic or acidic based on their pH.
· Analyze both data and unknown samples to determine the outcome of the given scenario.
· Utilize and analyze data to formulate conclusions pertaining to the incident at hand.
The motivation for this curriculum unit is the increasingly growing interest into the field of forensic science. In developing the curriculum unit, a culmination of topics will be incorporated ranging from topics in biology to topics in physics. Furthermore, the fundamental application of forensic science in the curriculum unit is that it provides an interdisciplinary way to analyze crime scene evidence. Forensic science is the integration of science and the law. It may include such areas as firearms and toolmark identification, forensic psychiatry and profiling, unidentified document examination, criminal law, personal identification, and crime scene processing. The crime scene involves not only the location where the crime occurred but it may involve any connection that may lead to the solving of the crime. Forensic scientists work on properly maintaining the scene of the crime and collecting all related information pertaining to the crime scene. Forensic scientists must therefore be educated in all aspects of scientific discipline such as biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental science.
Chemistry is the study of matter and all the changes that it undergoes. It is the science that focuses on composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter, all of which will be used to identify and characterize the crime scene. This curriculum will target ideas that will be cumulative in the sense that concepts learned throughout the year are then gathered and applied to the objectives of the curriculum unit.
Biology is the branch of science dealing with the study of life.
In this curriculum unit, concepts that will be related to Biology include, but not limited to, fingerprinting, DNA analysis, entomology, and genetics. In addition, biochemistry topics will be illustrated throughout the curriculum unit that gains relevance toward Biology science standards.
Physics (from the Greek physicos, meaning "natural") is the science of the natural world, which deals with the fundamental constituents of the universe, the forces they exert on one another, and the results of these forces.
In this curriculum unit, projectile motion will be the main focus as relating physics to forensic science. As instructors facilitate in concept mastery through the lecturing of topics, they can determine the difficulty to which they will cover projectile motion (i.e. depth of calculations.)
As this is a unit geared toward the exposure of students to hands-on science techniques, the sector of forensic science that will be studied will be crime scene processing and personal identification. With these two aspects of forensic science, topics in chemistry, biology, and physics may be uncovered and analyzed in as much depth as foreseen by the teacher using the lessons.
Furthermore, pursuit of knowledge is one of the greatest attributes of human nature. The position of the teacher will be to facilitate in the techniques and allow students to derive questions from the task laid upon them. This is a chance for the students to work collaboratively and learn from each other. The class will be divided into different groups and each group will be required to do a PowerPoint© presentation at the end of the unit, illustrating the outcome of their research and the hard work that went into "cracking the case." In addition, students will compose a report detailing their methods and results obtained in the experiments. The report will be done to the specifications detailed in the Appendix.