High School Program Pushes Students to Enter the Medical Field Through Crime Scene Investigation

New Palestine High School in Greenfield, Indiana was searching for ways to better engage students who wanted to enter the medical field. They surveyed their students and found that many wanted to pursue a career in medicine, but not always as doctors or nurses. They applied for and received a grant of $35,000 to develop curriculum to cater to these students, and what they did with the money will have crime scene investigators wishing they could relive high school.

They sent biology teacher Darlene Seifert to Project Lead the Way, a national curriculum-based class that walks students through unique ways to use for medical science. Specifically, they have developed a crime scene and given students the tools they need to navigate through the fictional scene and catch a killer.

The program has already got students excited, with participants commenting that they never have to sit and take notes and get to be in the lab every single day. It provides an interesting and exciting way to learn and immediately apply classroom knowledge to the real world.

The class is modeled after medical programs in college, with a focus on actively using skills as opposed to simply listening to lectures and taking notes. Students have commented that the class makes them feel like they are actually crime scene investigators working in the medical field. Student Madison Pelc said, “This is pretty much the only class that is close to what I want to do.”

Students universally agreed that, while they still have not figured out who it was that killed the subject of their research, future students would have just as much fun trying to figure it out.