I offer a variety of forensic science programs for schools, and the way that I arrange them allows school districts to have programs for kids of many different ages. I have received a lot of questions from schools, so I am including the most common questions and answers here.
Q. What age range can you provide programs for?
A. We have provided programs for kids from 5 to adult. The type of information and the manner in which it is presented is always age appropriate.
Q. What types of supplies do you use?
A. We use only real forensic science supplies. These include fiberglass fingerprint brushes, real fingerprint powders (including black, white, magnetic, copper, and fluorescent), phenolphthalein, Blue Star (blood presence luminescent liquid), cyanoacrylate fuming, synthetic blood (the same type used for training and education purposes), and print lifting supplies.
Q. What types of evidence do you cover in school programs?
The main types of evidence that we cover are fingerprints, shoe prints/impressions, blood evidence, ink and document analysis, forensic entomology, forensic geology, and forensic botany, but we can add hair and trace evidence, or linguistic analysis (what is written in a ransom note for instance).
Q. Are there any special things that you can cover in school programs?
A. Yes. We will tailor our programs to the school's needs. One thing that is very interesting is a demonstration of cyanoacrylate fuming to develop latent fingerprints. This is especially well suited to science classes. For younger kids, the Blue Star blood presence test creates a "wow" moment when the substance suddenly starts to glow a bright blue in the dark.
Q. How do you organize your sessions for schools?
A. That question cannot be answered easily because each program will be different. They can range from 6 or 7 individual programs for different classes to a series of sessions for one class that include discussions of each type of evidence followed by a mock crime for the kids to solve.
Q. How big can the groups be?
A. We have had group sizes ranging from 3 kids to over 250. The size of the group and length of the program determine the amount of hands-on activities each child is able to do.
Q. Are there are issues or themes which might be questionable for kids of certain ages?
A. Absolutely not. The program instructors are all parents and feel very strongly about making everything age appropriate. Some parents watch television shows that deal with forensic sciences and think that they have themes and scenes which are too intense for kids to handle. We agree completely. For instance, if we have a younger group and we are doing blood evidence, we talk in terms of a drop of blood that might be left from a paper cut, instead of a pool of blood at a murder scene.
Q. Where do you provide programs?
A. We will be happy to provide school programs anywhere in the U.S. We charge a small extra fee for programs that are farther away to defray the costs of travel to the location. We try to keep our fees reasonable.
Q. What are your fees for school programs?
A. We charge $750 per day for programs (if multiple days are booked, the costs is $700 per day). Most sessions last about as long as a typical school class (45-60 minutes), so we can fit 6 or 7 sessions in a day, if they are all at one location. We can also mix sessions at multiple schools in the same area to fit them in a day. For locations that require us to stay overnight, we charge the equivalent of 2 nights of hotel (the night before and after). Also, for locations that are more than 200 miles from Northville, NY, we charge 10 cents per mile as determined on a website such as Mapquest.
Q. Do you offer any discounts if multiple schools or districts in the same region schedule programs on consecutive days?
A. Yes, in such cases, we lower our daily rate to $700 plus 1.5 nights of hotel stays (since two program days would require 3 nights). We would also divide mileage costs between the schools.
Q. How do we schedule a school program?
A. If you are interested in scheduling a program for your school or district, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work with you to create a program that the kids will never forget.