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FORENSIC SCIENCE I - COURSE SYLLABUS. ... Mock Crime Scene: Combine Techniques to Process and Document a Crime Scene. 3. Forensic Use of the …

Instructor: Mr. John Giacobbe, MA, RPA Contacts: voice: 602.243.0600 webpage: school email: [email protected] home email: [email protected]

|Success in Class is Based on the |Grading Scale: | |Following: | | |Science Journals/Bell-work (5%) |A = 90 – 100% | |Lab Work (25%) |B = 80 – 89% | |Daily & Homework Assignments (25%) |C = 70 – 79% | |Unit Tests & Block Exams (25%) |D = 60 – 69% (Failing – | | |No Credit) | |Participation & Behavior (10%) |F = 59% and below (Failing – No | | |Credit) | |Research Proposal (10%) | |

Course Goals and Objectives: By the end of the course each student will be familiar with: • the history of the forensic sciences and its place in popular culture • the roles of different types of professionals involved in evaluating a crime scene and the collected evidence • the methodology of collecting & interpreting data, avoiding contamination, and preservation of chain of custody • how to present evidence in a professional (courtroom) setting

Participation: Participation is everything! If I see that you are paying attention, trying your best, and getting involved in what we are doing, I will do everything I can to see that you succeed. Get involved every day and I can guarantee you will do well in my class. You will also earn participation points, so stay focused and follow instructions.

Notebook: To pass this course you will need to keep an organized notebook. This should include any handouts you get in class, lab notes, and daily lecture notes. KEEP EVERYTHING! All assessments are based on notes taken during class. Some, but not all, assessments are open notes. As you progress in your education and careers, the importance of taking good notes cannot be underestimated.

Current Events in Forensics: Each student must orally present a current events article to the class during the semester on an assigned date. No article repeats, and your article must be no older than 2005. Details will be forthcoming.

Final Research Project: [Length: 10 pages (minimum), references, double- spaced, 12 pt. font, 1” margins] As part of this class, you will write a research paper focusing on one branch of forensic science. It may be a field we’ve covered, or another that’s of interest to you. You should explain what the field involves, how it’s useful in forensic investigations, and illustrate its use by summarizing at least two case studies. This can include studies in which forensics was used to convict, to overturn a conviction, or to solve an historical mystery. To complete this assignment, follow these guidelines:

• Use solid information and research. Use at least two books, two web sites, and two magazine or newspaper articles for your research. These sources should be reflected in the information of your paper and the references cited section. • Include at least two case studies in your discussion of the forensic branch of interest, and how they helped solve the case. Include diagrams, charts, and pictures (though these don’t count towards the suggested length of 10 pages). • Use professional research skills. Use the proper references cited form (which we’ll discuss in class), and avoid plagiarism! • Use professional writing skills. Complete sentences, supporting statements, grammar, proofread, etc.

➢ You can turn in one or more early drafts of your paper for my review before the due date. I will accept and review as many drafts of this paper as you like, up to three days before the due date. ➢ Suggested topics: Toxicology, Entomology, Botany, Serology, DNA, Fingerprinting, Arson, Shoeprint and Tire Tread, Ballistics, Anthropology, Documents and Handwriting Analysis, Hair and Fiber, Glass, Soils, Paints, Bite Marks and Odontology, Explosives, Pathology and Medical Examination. Feel free to suggest another topic!

*** If you create and present a Science Fair Project related to the Forensic Sciences you are not required to complete the Final Research Project, although you may write one for extra credit. Procedures, Rules, and How to Stay a Shiny, Happy Student with a Shiny, Happy Teacher!

Professional Attitude:

To start off, you must approach this class like a professional, adult, college-track student. That means taking personal responsibility for your coursework, and being proactive in earning your grade. For example, you must seek me out and make arrangements for missed work; do not expect me to come running after you and ask you for your assignments.

Use Your Resources:

Your syllabus is a detailed guide to your coursework. Keep it and refer to it regularly. The web page will have copies of all our PowerPoints, and most of our assignments, readings, and references. In addition, extra credit, links to additional materials (like those you will have to use in your Final Research Project), and various images and video will be presented on the web. Use this resource. If you don’t have an internet connection at home, make some arrangements to use our computer lab.

Late Work:

First, if you want an “A,” don’t turn in work late. If something forces you to turn in an assignment late, know that for each day it’s late, you’ll receive one grade lower than you would’ve received if it had been on time. After two days, you’ll receive a zero for that assignment, PERIOD. No acceptations, unless you die and rise from the dead. If you were absent when the assignment was given, then the clock starts the day you return. If you were present when the assignment was given out, but absent when it is due, you get one day extra to turn in the assignment.

Progress Reports:

Progress reports are given out every week, and must be returned signed by the following week. If you do not receive a progress report, you can always email me for a copy or use the school PASS system.


You know the rules. If you miss five days, you get no credit. I have no power to reverse this rule, and students (including those who earned an “A”) fail each block because of absences!

Classroom Operation:

• When you enter the classroom, take your seat, and get ready for action and adventure. • If you need assistance for any reason, get my attention and wait to be called on. • If you need to leave the classroom for any reason, you must get my permission and use the hall pass. • At the end of class, please put your chairs back, throw your trash away, replace your references and any equipment used, and wait for me to dismiss you. • Honesty: Cheating and plagiarism are unacceptable and totally uncool. Truly dreadful things will happen to you if I find you cheating or plagiarizing. • Cell Phones: Not. If you use one in class, I may take the phone and give it to the roaches, who will probably call their families back in Madagascar, Africa.

Classroom Consequences:

1st Offense – Verbal Warning 2nd Offense – Loss of Participation Points for the Day and a Phone Call Home 3rd Offense – Visit with the Dean of Students, Loss of Privileges, Suspension, or Dismemberment Forensic Science Course Review and Outline

Course Topics and Perspective

Forensic science is the application of scientific knowledge to questions of civil and criminal law. This course is a lab-based, hands-on course that will explore what forensic scientists do. You will learn modern forensic methods and use scientific methods to solve legal problems.

This course will focus on collection and analysis of crime scene evidence (such as serology, toxicology, entomology, odontology and trace evidence), and explore lab analysis techniques, (such as chromatography, DNA analysis, fingerprinting, and hair and footprint analysis).

Forensic scientists are also required to testify in court about their methods and analysis of evidence. To make a convincing case, you need to be able to clearly and concisely explain the results of the labs and techniques you use, and explain the significance of your results in lab reports.

Finally, mock crime scenes will be investigated and real case studies analyzed.

Interdisciplinary Relationships

Forensics is a diverse field, and rarely are forensic scientists “generalists” – people who specialize in all aspects of forensic science. Forget what you see on CSI (insert city here). Forensic scientists don’t wear pumps to a crime scene, they rarely interview suspects or make arrests, and they are not experts in all areas of forensic investigations. Rather, forensic experts usually specialize in one or two branches of forensic investigation.

A botanist may be an expert in forensic botany. An entomologist may be an expert in forensic entomology. Chemists may specialize in forensic toxicology or arson and bomb analysis. People with expertise in physics may focus on firearms and ballistics or blood spatter analysis.

It would be impossible to survey all areas of forensic science in a semester long high school course. Rather, we will explore a range of fields, topics and methodologies to give you a sense of the diverse fields of study in forensics.

Nevertheless, forensic science is an applied scientific discipline, and your success in this course will require you to apply your basic understanding of physics, chemistry, biology and even math to explore the range of topics surveyed. Forensic Science Course Outline (Sections are Subject Area Divisions, Not in Sequence)

Section I. Introduction

1. Introduction to the Forensic Sciences History and Development of Forensic Science Deductive Reasoning Organization of a Crime Laboratory Services of the Crime Laboratory Functions of the Forensic Scientist Other Forensic Science Services Case Study: Detection of Curare in the Jascalevich Murder Trial

2. The Crime Scene Legal Considerations at the Crime Scene Securing and Recording the Crime Scene Evidence Collection Techniques Chain of Custody Crime Scene Photography: Proper Documentation of a Crime Scene Photographic Evidence and Log Recording – Mock Crime Scene Photography Forensic Archaeology and Buried Remains Recovery Case Study: The Enrique Camarena Case: A Forensic Nightmare Mock Crime Scene: Combine Techniques to Process and Document a Crime Scene

3. Forensic Use of the Microscope The Compound Microscope The Comparison Microscope The Stereoscopic Microscope The Polarizing Microscope The Microspectrophotometer The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Case Study: Microscopic Trace Evidence The Overlooked Clue: Arthur Koehler, Wood Detective

4. Criminal Justice Aspects of the Justice System Aspects of Trials

Section II. Biological Evidence

1. Identifying Human Remains Identifying the Body: Human or Nonhuman? Skin Coloration Defensive Wounds and Other Visible Marks Postmortem Lividity Rigor Mortis Processes of Decay Bodies Underwater

2. The Medical Examiner and the Autopsy The Autopsy in History Defining the Parameters of the Autopsy Reviewing Autopsy Reports

3. Forensic Anthropology Introduction to Forensic Anthropology Human Bone vs. Animal Bone Skeletal Comparison of Human Males & Females Ancestry from Skeletal Remains Determining Types of Trauma from Skeletal Remains Forensic Odontology

4. Forensic Entomology Introduction to Forensic Entomology

5. Hair, Fiber and Botanical Remains Identification and Comparison of Hair Collection and Preservation of Hair Evidence Types of Fibers Identification and Comparison of Manufactured Fibers Collection and Preservation of Fiber Evidence Botanical Remains: Pollen, Seeds, and Other Remains

6. Organic Materials Analysis Selecting an Analytical Technique Chromatography Spectrophotometry Mass Spectrometry

7. Forensic Toxicology Toxicology of Alcohol The Role of the Toxicologist Techniques Used in Toxicology The Significance of Toxicological Findings The Drug Recognition Expert

8. Forensic Serology The Nature of Blood Immunoassay Techniques Forensic Characterization of Bloodstains Stain Patterns of Blood Principles of Heredity Forensic Characterization of Semen Collection of Rape Evidence

9. DNA: The Indispensable Forensic Science Tool Recombinant DNA: Cutting and Splicing DNA DNA Typing Mitochondrial DNA The Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) Case Study: The Forensic Community's Response to September 11

10. Fingerprints Fundamental Principles of Fingerprints Classification of Fingerprints Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems Preservation of Developed Prints Digital Imaging for Fingerprint Enhancement

11. Forensic Psychology Mental Deviance Criminal Profiling Polygraph Analysis

Section III. Physical Evidence

1. Physical Evidence The Significance of Physical Evidence Forensic Databases Crime Scene Reconstruction Case Study: Fiber Evidence and the Wayne Williams Trial

2. Physical Properties: Glass and Soil Physical Properties Comparing Glass Fragments Glass Fractures Collection and Preservation of Glass Evidence Forensic Characteristics of Soil Collection and Preservation of Soil Evidence

3. Firearm and Ballistic Evidence Determining Caliber & Gun Type from Bullets & Shell Casings Determining Weapons Firing from Gunshot Residue

4. Inorganic Materials Analysis Evidence in the Assassination of President Kennedy The Emission Spectrum of Elements Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer The Origin of Emission and Absorption Spectra Neutron Activation Analysis X-Ray Diffraction

5. Paint Forensic Examination of Paint Collection and Preservation of Paint Evidence

6. Drug Analysis Narcotic Drugs Hallucinogens Depressants Stimulants Club Drugs Anabolic Steroids Drug-Control Laws Drug Identification Collection and Preservation of Drug Evidence

7. Forensic Aspects of Arson and Explosion Investigations Searching the Fire Scene Collection and Preservation of Arson Evidence Analysis of Flammable Residues Types of Explosives Collection and Analysis of Explosives

8. Firearms, Tool Marks, and Other Impressions Cartridge Cases Automated Firearms Search Systems Gunpowder Residues Primer Residues on the Hands Serial Number Restoration Collection and Preservation of Firearms Evidence Tool Marks Other Impressions

9. Document and Voice Examination Collection of Handwriting Exemplars Typescript Comparisons Inks and Papers Photocopier, Printer, and Fax Examination Alterations, Erasures, and Obliterations Other Document Problems Voice Examination

10. Computer Forensics From Input to Output: How Does the Computer Work? Putting It All Together How Data Is Stored Processing the Electronic Crime Scene Evidentiary Data Case Study 1. Computer Forensic Analysis Answers the Question "Arson or Accident?" Case Study 2. Counterfeiting and Fraud: A Forensic Computer Investigation

Mr. G’s Science Department Web World

Web Page: Science Blog: Email: School Email: [email protected] Home Email: [email protected]

We have a significant web presence that you should take advantage of. This includes: a web page with class notes, assignments, and old exams; a Science Blog, with extra credit assignments and interesting links posted every week; and an email newsletter, outlining what we are doing in each class each week and detailing upcoming labs, activities, and field trips.

Please send me an email address so I can add you to the list!

In addition, you can check on your child’s grade at any time, 24 hours a day! You can also check on attendance, vaccinations, and other information directly from the South Pointe home page, located at: All you need are your child’s ID number, and the PIN number that was mailed to you last block. Contact the school’s main office (602.243.0600) if you have any questions. I strongly encourage you to view your child’s progress reports regularly, which I update every week (usually daily), and contact me at any time with questions or comments.


John Giacobbe

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Forensic Science I – Review & Understanding of the Syllabus (must be signed by parent/guardian and student)

Student Signature: __________________________ Date: ________________________

Student Name (print): __________________________

Student email (optional): __________________________

Parent/Guardian Signature: __________________________ Date: _______________________

Parent/Guardian Name (print): __________________________

Parent/Guardian email (optional): __________________________