The Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) Science School is now available to teachers and students across Ohio.
The free lesson plans are designed for fourth graders and will expose students to several careers including forensic science, criminal investigation.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office explained in a press release that students will conduct hands-on, inquiry-based experiments in class and solve relevant challenges using critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
The courses include videos that “take” students into the field with BCI agents and into the laboratory with forensic scientists.
“I wanted to develop BCI Science School so kids could experience what it’s like to be a detective or a forensic scientist. We hope that by showing kids when they are young all that BCI has to offer, we will spark their interest in science and criminal justice careers that they might not have thought about,” said Attorney General Mike DeWine. “Since we can’t take every fourth grade student and teacher to BCI, where they are solving crimes every single day, we thought creatively about what we could do to make BCI available to teachers and students to accomplish our goal of early learning and excitement for science and related fields.”
The Attorney General took a trip to visit fourth grade students at Herbert Mills STEM Elementary School in Reynoldsburg (Franklin County, Ohio). The students worked on extension projects, after finishing the BCI Science School curriculum.
In the press release issued by the AG’S office, Herbert Mills STEM Elementary Principal, Brian Coffey, shared his thoughts on the program:
“Our teachers and students are thrilled to partner with the BCI Science School for a hands-on, applied learning experience. Not only is this a perfect fit with our climate of student growth and learning, but we are excited to introduce the fourth grade to a variety of career pathways including forensics.”
With a STEAM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) curriculum, BCI Science School includes 26 lesson plans aligned to the Ohio Department of Education’s fourth grade standards, using hands-on experiments and inquiry-based learning to help solve fictional crimes. Students help “solve” this scenario:
A farmer named Bob Agriculture is missing, along with his dog, Buckeye. Bob’s wife calls police when she can’t find the two and notices their barn has been broken into, chemicals are missing, and there’s a threatening note on the barn window. Students help figure out what happened to Bob Agriculture and who might be responsible. They determine if any crimes were committed.
Officials add that there are a number of key processes used at BCI and the students participating in the program get to experience them:
Cyber Crimes (cell phone pinging and cell phone records)
Thermal Energy Detection
Criminal Intelligence Unit (tracking suspects)
Crime Scene (collecting evidence)
Latent Prints (fingerprints)
Questioned Documents (handwriting)
Trace Evidence (fracture matches and shoeprints)
Teachers with questions about implementing BCI Science School in their classrooms can contact BCI@OhioAttorneyGenera l.gov.