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Forensics Class Investigates Scene of the Crime

by Danny Isquith, Upper School Director

Forensics class investigates scene of the crime

At Calhoun, we want our students to engage in meaningful, rigorous STEM-related activities and learning experiences. As Upper School Director, I am so committed to this pursuit that I have made the ultimate sacrifice. Please see the following press release for more details:

MANHATTAN, New York – A deeply loved and admired Upper School Director, Danny Isquith, was pronounced dead after being found by Calhoun’s Forensics class on the first day of Mod 1. While poison was found near the body, the victim also had a single stab wound to the chest. Toxicology reports are still out, and the crime scene is being investigated. Luckily, the Forensics class is dedicating the entirety of Mod 1 to learn about forensic science in order to collect enough evidence to charge someone with this heinous crime. 

Our forensics team was tasked with describing how they planned to process and investigate the crime scene, including carefully planned photos of the scene. They then collected and logged all evidence with descriptions and locations. During this process, they were asked to include hypotheses about what the evidence potentially implied. In order to make these hypotheses and analyze the evidence and data:

  • The team learned about the three principles of fingerprints, discussed the different classifications of fingerprints, and covered the differences between latent, visual and plastic fingerprints and what information these different types of fingerprints can tell you.

  • Blood spatter analysis was studied and used to learn important information about the height of a fall, the direction of movement, the angle of impact, and the speed of the blood droplets.

  • Students dove into fiber analysis, since it was clear that there were at least two different animal hairs found at the scene of the crime, and the deceased only owned one dog. 

  • With the abundance of blood on the scene, it was important for the forensics team to type the blood and determine whether it all belonged to the victim. A strong understanding of the genetic theory of ABO blood typing was a necessity.

  • There were also numerous footprints at the scene of the crime. The forensics team used their expertise to determine what a footprint could tell them about a person’s height and their movement.

  • In order to cover all bases and make sure no stone was left unturned, the team learned about handwriting analysis, ink analysis and DNA analysis. 

The forensics team used the scientific method, along with the plethora of skills and information listed above, to analyze the crime scene and identify potential suspects. At this point in time, the names of the suspects is being kept confidential, as we have another crack team of forensic scientists throwing themselves into this murder case in Mod 5. 

There you have it, folks. As I write to you from beyond the veil, I couldn’t be more proud of our students who dive fearlessly into challenges like this, and I admire our amazing faculty who are able to create such constructivist and rigorous scientific explorations. 

Yours truly departed,