A group of Thomasville High School students thought their first day of school was going to be in a normal classroom, not the center of a mock crime scene. A new course at Thomasville High called Principles of Biomedical Sciences launched on the first day back for students. Students were introduced to their course-long assignment — greeted by yellow crime scene tape covering the classroom door. Anna Garcia, the plastic victim, laid lifeless on the floor, surrounded by clues to the motive.
"Every single day, we're going to do different activities and you're going to figure out what happened. That's your job," said Barbara Peralta, Principles of Biomedical Sciences teacher. Peralta, Mallory Ross, also a Principles of Biomedical Sciences teacher, and the students began their course-long investigation by examining the scene.
Crime scene photos were taken and possible evidence was marked. Peralta asked the students if they watched popular crime shows, such as the CSI series. "Guess what, you're all doing the exact same thing," she said. The new investigators were provided a composition book to jot down notes and to aid in their investigation. "You're going to be adding information on top of information," Ross said, noting the students will receive different reports throughout the course and stressing the importance of organization. Said Peralta, "You're going to be investigators. You're going to find out what happened to Anna Garcia."
The Principles of Biomedical Science course is a Project Lead the Way (PLTW) course, said Thomasville High School Principal Chip Clatto. Both Peralta and Ross had to undergo a two-week long PLTW extensive training at Georgia Southern University in order to teach the course, according to Clatto.
The course, a "souped-up" forensic course, is the first in a three-course pathway and an Advanced Placement track course, the principal noted. "It's going to be one of the most enriching courses they'll have in their academic career," Clatto said of the students in the course.