Forensic science course for young teen?
December 11, 2017 5:55 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a forensic science course for a young teen?

I'm looking for an online forensic science course that is suitable for a bright 13yo middle school student. It does not have to be for credit. It is to support a passion project on this topic (bonus point for forensic dentistry). As we are nearing the end of the first term, I would prefer something that is shorter than a full-year. The project is supported by the school, but it really needs to be based on the student's own thing (it's a challenge project), so it would be great if the student could simply work through a series of materials.

I would also prefer a course that does not require essays or a lot of writing. Reading and analysis level can be advanced, but this student isn't a huge fan of writing. Since the project is supposed to be about a passion, it's important to respect that.

This student especially likes taking tests more than once, so that it doesn't feel so high stakes.

It would be great if the course integrated other 7th to 9th grade curriculum concepts, but that's just a bonus.

I am aware of online materials that can be pieced together. But a prepackaged course would be really helpful to provide structure for work already completed, and it would perhaps be very satisfying for the student to see they have completed modules or quizzes and received marks. It would also be important to make copies of any quizzes or assignments to bring to their school team.

Given the age of the teen, many 11th and 12th grade forensics courses are a little too dark. The family is not naive and certainly has open discussions, but they would like to avoid particularly violent or gruesome details and sexual assault as topics.

posted by acoutu to Education (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here you go: an online course with video lectures and hands-on home lab activities aimed at middle schoolers from the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins. The next session starts in January and there is a one-class grace period where you can enroll without making him sit for the SAT or whatever test CTY is currently using.
posted by Flannery Culp at 6:44 PM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thanks. I should add that USD 914 for a course is more than this family would expect to spend for a middle schooler....
posted by acoutu at 7:27 PM on December 11, 2017

Ouch, that is a lot, sorry. Either they have raised costs since last summer or the science courses are significantly more expensive.
posted by Flannery Culp at 7:33 PM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

The next closest thing I could find was this resource page from a grade 8 science teacher, which isn't a class he can enroll in but is a very thorough outline with presentations and handouts and recommended supplies for a 9-week class.
posted by Flannery Culp at 7:52 PM on December 11, 2017

Thanks. That is the online material the student has been using, but some sort of online delivery would be a bit more motivating for this student. :D
posted by acoutu at 7:53 PM on December 11, 2017

Would this do? Introduction to Forensic Science. FutureLearn has a couple of other forensic science courses also. It's not aimed at children but I've done several other courses with FutureLearn and I don't think a bright 13 year-old would have a problem with them. They do not involve essay-writing and are free.

As for the content of the course, they say: "Some of content presented in this course may be distressing to individuals, particularly younger learners. Notwithstanding, the material is representative of that encountered by forensic scientists and we have presented it in an objective and professional manner."
posted by paduasoy at 1:06 AM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thanks! The FutureLearn course is seeming okay so far!
posted by acoutu at 4:32 PM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

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