Sparkman students to get CSI experiencePublished 4:12pm Thursday, April 7, 2011
BY DEANNE WINSLETT / SPECIAL TO THE RECORD
When Karl Fernandez announced the new forensics fieldtrip concept to his classes, they were beyond excited.
Fernandez had opted to take his students to Camp Cha-la-kee this year, an affiliate of the YMCA that Fernandez also works at, where he had set up in each of the eight cabins an elaborate crime scene.
“More than learn the material, I wanted the students to experience it,” Fernandez said.
The students were divided into eight mock CSI groups, and each group was assigned a cabin with a specific crime scene. Fernandez himself had been the one to organize the scenes and set up the matching narratives, and he was excited to see the effect his work had on his students and their learning process.
“When a teacher makes something from scratch, we’re not always sure what the results will be among the students,” Fernandez said.
But the much-anticipated trip, which took place April 4th, was cut short a total of four hours due to dreary weather. The students had only had time for a briefing, to look for evidence and for evidence collection. Most of the students, Fernandez says, did not make it to the actual lab work.
“The most important part was the lab work, which is what they didn’t get to do,” Fernandez said.
The students themselves were especially disappointed, because they did not get to solve the crime. But despite the shortage of time, they were still able to monopolize on the time they had and put to practice the concepts they had been taught.
“I learned how hard it really is to find and analyze evidence,” junior Alex Wakefield said.
Fernandez, too, took something away from the fieldtrip. He was able to judge how effective the process was in further teaching his students, and intends to make the fieldtrip a yearly one.
“The whole process will work, so at least there’s something positive we can take away from it,” Fernandez said.