Popular tv shows influence classroom lessons

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, the Harris Courtyard transformed into a mock crime scene for our Upper School students.

Dave Fisher, Upper School forensic teacher, turned his classroom lesson into a real-life crime scene scenario based on popular television shows like NCIS and Criminal Minds.

The class is currently studying a course unit of how to evaluate a crime scene.

“Every piece of evidence starts to tell an important piece of the story,” said Fisher.

Students observed elements that would help them understand what happened to the victim. The “murder scene” contained blood patterns on the ground and on the trees, and a corpse made of newspapers and towels wearing jeans and a hoodie laid face down on the ground with the weapon nearby.

“The mock crime scene showed me that forensics is not as easy as they make it look on TV,” said Tyler Smith ’16. “You need to be really detail conscious and sometimes you can miss key pieces of evidence. I had a great experience with this mock crime scene. I definitely can't wait for the next one.”

Students were extremely intrigued by the different blood patterns and what the patterns could tell them about the victim and the crime scene. They were able to practice first-hand what they’ve learned within the course.

“I think that by doing the mock crime scene we noticed how important it is to pay attention to detail and how often we would overlook something that could be crucial to a crime scene,” said Carter Kennedy ’16. “Sometimes the smallest details are the things that connect all the dots within a crime scene. We also learned that by working in groups you can cover more ground and when you take detailed notes you can refer back to them after the mock crime to create conclusions.”

This is the second year Fisher has hosted an out-of-the-classroom learning activity for his students. As a result of the lesson, some experts have even offered to speak as a guest in the class. 

“Hopefully this is not the exception but the new trend,” said Fisher about the hands-on activity.

To view the Harris Courtyard “crime scene,” click here.