On June 26th, NFSTC hosted nearly 50 high school students from Pinellas County as part of the 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 third year, NFSTC has opened its training facility to students for hands-on tours and instruction on various forensic science and crime scene investigation topics.
This year, students participated in a mini-course on crime scene photography and the High Tech Crime Institute presented information about cell phone forensics. The tours culminated with several hands-on exercises in which the students learned to document the crime scene and evidence. The scenarios included:
- Inspecting a vehicle at a border checkpoint
- Investigating a breaking and entering
- Documenting a clandestine lab
“Gaining a solid footing in science and math is critical for so many reasons. Jobs are going high-tech; take DNA or cybercrime for example,” says Kevin Lothridge, CEO of NFSTC. “The key to getting these kids interested in science is not scaring them with how complex an activity might be, it is getting them engaged, and that’s what we are doing with this event. And with so many new technologies on the horizon, opportunities for exciting careers will only grow.”
The STEM TEC 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.
For more information on the STEM TEC program, visit www.worknetpinellas.org.