8 Reasons Why I love Forensics via Emily Leong

I get to talk about topics that matter to me

In forensics, I get to choose the topics for all my speeches. This means that they’re very personal and matter a lot to me. Issues like racism, homophobia, and gun control are all topics I’ve done speeches on. Being able to have a space to express my opinions, and to hear other opinions has been really empowering for me.

I can express myself

Forensics isn’t just all formal speeches. Most of the events I do is under the interpretation genre, meaning that my speeches are more like acting than formal informative or persuasive speeches. Being able to express myself through my speeches has been a great stress reliever for me.

Creativity

Being in interpretation events, I get to have a bigger creative licence with my speeches. This allows me to get creative with what I do with my movements and gestures. This creative side of forensics turns words into art.

Life Skills

Through this activity, I’ve developed the important life skill of public speaking. Many people who have not done forensics fear public speaking, but because I have grown such an affinity for it, speeches, and class presentations are much easier, and come quite natural to me.

Community

I have met so many wonderful people through this activity. Most of my closest friends are on my team, and I’ve met so many beautiful people from other teams who are so inspiring, beautiful, and kind.

State Team Goofy

I stay informed

Most topics in Forensics are about either politics or current events. This means that I am not informed during tournaments, but motivated to read and watch more news, and stay current outside of tournaments. Staying informed on current events now has become important to my daily life.

Travel

Especially in college, forensics is a great way to travel to new places. The spring of 2018, my team traveled to Nashville, Tennessee for the Pi Kappa Delta national tournament. It was great to explore the city, and I can’t wait to have the opportunity to travel more.

Confidence Booster

Forensics has helped be able to accept constructive criticism, which is something a lot of people need to work on. It also has allowed me to feel good about the work I put into each and every one of  my speeches. Forensics has given me a space where I feel confident about myself.

Suits

Of course, a proper team is not complete without the proper attire. Suits are the norm at tournaments, and if you dig around enough on Ebay or at Goodwill, you’re able to find some great pieces. Suits can be a great conversation starter with another competitor. A good suit is essential for forensics.

Ecc Tessa Suit

 

I get to talk about topics that matter to me In forensics, I get to choose the topics for all my speeches. This means that they’re very personal and matter a lot to me. Issues like racism, homophobia, and gun control are all topics I’ve done speeches on. Being able to have a space to […]

via 8 Reasons Why I love Forensics — Emily Leong

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Autopsy of a Dill Pickle-Introductory Lab for Anatomy or Forensics!

A Pickle Autopsy? YES!

If you teach Anatomy & Physiology, you know the struggle of the first unit…. it’s HUGE!! … and jam-packed with things that are absolutely essential for students to know in order to be successful in the course.  I usually struggle with finding activities to review the body cavities and directional terms.  This year, someone suggested using the pickle autopsy and I’m so glad I did!

The lab I used was published in The Forensic Teacher and would be appropriate for either discipline (I teach both this year).  Here is the link to the lab I used http://www.theforensicteacher.com/Labs_files/picklelabsheets.pdf  A clever fellow teacher friend came up with the storyline that there was a gang war between the Claussens and the Vlasics in the fridge that resulted in no survivors. I loved it so I also used that storyline to frame my lab.

Set Up– The Basics

Now that I had my lab picked out and my story to tell, I had to figure the logistics of how to get everything set up.

First, the pickles….

img_9918

I found the big jars of dills at Walmart for $5.97 each. The smaller pickles I got because I wanted some of my “victims” to be pregnant (or they could also be small children pickles lol).  I had a hard time estimating how many pickles were in the big jars, but these 2 had a total of 33 pickles– more than enough for my classes. The picture below shows them separated by “male” and “female” victims (my “male” pickles are the ones with the stems lol).

Here are all the supplies I used for the lab: img_9916

How to make them look like victims….

I glued wiggly eyes onto thumbtacks for their eyes (so I can reuse them)img_9917

I also used pellets that go in pellet guns for bullet wounds (I smashed them a little with the hammer first and dipped them into gel food coloring before I stuck them in the “victims”)img_9922

I made their heads from an olive stuck on a toothpick– some I even squished so their “brains” fell out a little lol.  I also gave all of them a “spine” (a toothpick on the dorsal side just under the skin).  I also broke several of the toothpicks so this “injury” might be discovered and included in the story of their “victim”. img_9937.jpg

All the “victims” had a bead implanted in the vicinity of their heart.  If the bead was red, they had a normal heart.  If it was black or dark purple, it represented a heart attack.  I found that if you make a slit on the side of the pickle (choose a wrinkle), it will often be completely unnoticeable and students will wonder how in the world you got those beads in there!  I also slipped in a small green bead in the neck region of a few of the “victims” and told my students I heard that some of the gang members involved in the war were caught raiding the grapes from the fridge and several choked on them when their leader caught them.

I also told them that the gang members were not healthy and many had various diseases and disorders because they didn’t take care of themselves.  Many had white beads implanted in various areas.  These beads represented a tumor in the particular area.  Knotted pieces of rubber bands in the abdominal region represented parasites.  Many had broken toothpick “limbs”.  I also had several who were pregnant.

This is the sheet of “Helpful Hints” I gave my students with their lab:

img_9941

A Snapshot of My “Victims”

I separated my “victims” into 4 general types based on their cause of death:

  1. Trauma or internal bleeding (Stabbed or gunshot, injected with red food coloring)
  2. Poisoning/ Drug Overdose (I soaked them in baking soda but didn’t get a very good result)
  3. Heart Attack (black bead instead of red bead in chest)
  4. Drowning (blue food coloring injected in chest area)

 

My “victims” had multiple things that could have resulted in their deaths, but having 4 major things just helped me keep it organized. I also put them in separate dishes while I plotted their demise 🙂 img_9926

I also kept them separate in labeled gallon ziplock bags to transport them to school. img_9927

The Lab Set Up

I set my lab up as a mini crime scene.  I had some fake vampire blood from my forensics class that I also added to help set the scene.  I also added in some extra plastic swords and pellets around the “victims”.  (I let my students pick their own “victim” from the scene). img_9948

Group Jobs

Students were in a lab group of 3 per “victim”.  In my lab, every student in the group has a specific job and job description.  It just helps my lab groups run more smoothly and tends to decrease the possibility that one student does the lion’s share of work.  These are the jobs I gave my groups for this lab: img_9936.jpg

My Take on the Pickle Autopsy Lab

Would I use it again? Absolutely!  My students became very proficient at actually using the directional terminology and identifying the body cavities that we talked about in class.  I heard many meaningful conversations within the groups… “That’s a break in his arm that’s intermediate between the shoulder and the elbow” “I think this sword went through the abdominal cavity and not the thoracic cavity”…. This was so much better than hearing them try to memorize a diagram or a chart of the directional terms!

They loved getting into our “gang warfare” story.  I had them fill out a Coroner’s Report detailing the abnormalities they found both in, and on their “victim”, as well as the location of these abnormalities.  Then, they had to determine the cause of death for their victim, supporting their opinion with specific details from their autopsy.  At all times within their report, they had to incorporate correct anatomical terminology.  Finally, they had to create a narrative of what happened to their “victim” based on the findings from their autopsy.  Several groups shared with the class.  It was lots of fun!

 

 

A Pickle Autopsy? YES! If you teach Anatomy & Physiology, you know the struggle of the first unit…. it’s HUGE!! … and jam-packed with things that are absolutely essential for students to know in order to be successful in the course. I usually struggle with finding activities to review the body cavities and directional […]

via Autopsy of a Dill Pickle- A Great Introductory Lab for Anatomy or Forensics! — Edgy Instruction

Forensic psychology with an emphasis on prison-based rehabilitation is the focus of the Corrective Services 7th Annual Psychology Conference on 29-30 August. Keynote speaker Professor Jim Ogloff AM from @swinburne will discuss ways to reduce violence & serious sexual offending.pic.twitter.com/UmYrol3Yrj — Site Title

Forensic psychology with an emphasis on prison-based rehabilitation is the focus of the Corrective Services 7th Annual Psychology Conference on 29-30 August. Keynote speaker Professor Jim Ogloff AM from @swinburne will discuss ways to reduce violence & serious sexual offending. pic.twitter.com/UmYrol3Yrj Forensic psychology with an emphasis on prison-based rehabilitation is the focus of the Corrective […]

via Forensic psychology with an emphasis on prison-based rehabilitation is the focus of the Corrective Services 7th Annual Psychology Conference on 29-30 August. Keynote speaker Professor Jim Ogloff AM from @swinburne will discuss ways to reduce violence & serious sexual offending.pic.twitter.com/UmYrol3Yrj — Site Title