CSI Lancy

8 May 2015

Following in the footsteps of such well-known investigators as Holmes and Watson, Blake and Morimer or Starsky and Hutch, are two of IIL’s French high school teachers: Christophe Vietri and Johan Ansoud.

Throughout the school year 2014-15, Seconde students explored the world of science and its relationship to commonly used criminology techniques.

During the first weeks of the school year, students were introduced to the methods of forensic science, forensic medicine and the principles of judicial procedure. By mid-year, students also have the opportunity to meet a coroner, to deepen their understanding of the issues related to this line of work.

Following the first weeks of introduction, an investigation was then launched on the basis of a police report prepared by teachers. In groups, students then decide on a protocol of experiments to analyze the evidence collected at the scene of a crime: this year it was a vandalized car in which hair and traces of blood were found.

In a presentation to the class, each group defends the protocols they have chosen, following which the teachers give their formal validation. They then provide the necessary equipment for carrying out experiments in the laboratories of the school. Once the results of their experiments are known, groups develop different scenarios to explain the facts.

Many levels of expertise are touched on through these exercises. Students share their resources in a cloud dedicated to collaborative work. They make films or cartoons to present their scenarios.

To prepare this type of exercise, teachers must be resourceful and have a real passion for teaching science. This interdisciplinary work is in itself a break from the daily routine, giving teachers the opportunity to experiment with new teaching methods.

The investigations are on-going: the dead body of the owner of the vandalized car has been discovered, which means the inquiry continues. Will the next group of students solve the mystery left to them by last years’ students ?

c.vietri[at]iil.ch et j.ansoud[at]iil.ch