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CSAFE Partners with STEMversity to Attract Minority Students to Forensic Science

In July 2017, CSAFE partnered with STEMversity summer forensic academies to offer minority students from Milledgeville, Georgia opportunities to explore the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  CSAFE and the STEMversity’s work is an effort to address the decreasing numbers of minority students entering the STEM fields by showing this population that the forensic science field is in need of young talent.

CSAFE Director Alicia Carriquiry and graduate student Amy Crawford led one day of the weeklong course held at Central Georgia Technical College.  21 students in grades 6-12 participated in the program.

Carriquiry’s presentation highlighted CSAFE’s mission to increase the scientific validity of forensic science through improved statistical foundations.  Using a motivating case study, Carriquiry explained that all too often the use of statistics in criminal investigations is misunderstood, yet key to social change.

Crawford and Carriquiry aimed to spark an interest for forensics.  “We see the importance of bringing opportunities to these students, and exposing them to research that has a societal impact,” Crawford said. “We showed them that forensic science is something that they can do, and that this line of work that can impact their communities.”

The day concluded with Crawford leading students through engaging, hands-on learning activities in shoeprint analysis, bullet matching, and questioned documents with real world applications.

STEMversity executive director Darrell Davis said, “CSAFE classroom and hands-on laboratory work not only supported our goal for our forensic summer academy, but introduced new technology and forensic disciplines to the students.”

STEM fields and forensic science are exciting and growing disciplines throughout the United States and globally.   To discuss how CSAFE can work with your program to provide quality educational opportunities for youth interested in forensic science, contact CSAFE Communications and Outreach Coordinator Sarah Carraher at smc@iastate.edu.

 

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