What kind of evidence can be pulled from a cell phone? Can you really pull fingerprints off of paper? How can police officers tell if substances may be drugs or explosives before they send samples to the lab? Pinellas County STEM TEC students had the chance to learn the answers to these questions and explore forensic techniques at NFSTC on June 27th.
Nearly 40 high school students spent the morning in the NFSTC training warehouse as part of the 2013 Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM), Training for Emerging Careers (TEC): Summer Career Institute. The program introduces students between the ages of 14 and 17 to STEM careers. For the fourth year, NFSTC has opened its training facility to students for hands-on instruction on various forensic science and crime scene investigation topics.
This year, students participated in a mini-course on chemistry field technologies and the High Tech Crime Institute presented fascinating information about cell phone forensics and data extraction. Students also had the opportunity to try various fingerprinting techniques.
“Understanding how to apply science and math knowledge is critical today. Increasingly, jobs are very high tech and the students need to be knowledgeable in
the subjects, then be able to apply what they know,” says Kevin Lothridge, CEO of NFSTC. “The key to getting kids interested is getting them engaged, and that’s what we like about the STEM TEC program. Their career opportunities can be fantastic.”
The program, developed by Junior Achievement and WorkNet Pinellas, provides career exploration and workplace readiness training to economically disadvantaged students through a four-week summer program and year-round engagements. The program includes employer site visits to gain job shadowing experience in STEM specific fields.
One teacher wrote to say thanks:
Once again, our students had nothing but good things to say about our field trip. I was very impressed to, as was the rest of the staff. I liked the various sessions. They were long enough to pique the students’ interest and give them some good hands-on.
Trish Spencer, Lead Teacher, Junior Achievement Clearwater
For more information on the STEM TEC program, visit www.worknetpinellas.org.