8285 Bryan Dairy Road, Suite 125 Largo, Florida 33777

(727) 395-2511 nfstc-info@fiu.edu

STEM TEC students try their hands at forensic science

Kirk Grates, NFSTC senior forensic specialist – chemistry, shows STEM TEC Summer Career Institute Students basic techniques in fingerprint comparison.

LARGO, FL   July 6, 2010:   The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) hosted more than 90 high school students for hands-on tours of forensic science at their training facility in Largo on June 29, 2010. The students were part of the STEM TEC: Summer Career Institute, a program developed by Junior Achievement and WorkNet Pinellas that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math to train for emerging careers.  

Students toured the NFSTC training facility and participated in five hands-on activities:

  • Testing for drugs and explosives
  • Testing for biological fluids like blood
  • Interpreting DNA profiles
  • Using Firearms comparison microscope for bullet matching
  • Alternative light sources for fingerprint and biological fluid detection
“Studying math, science and technology are the stepping stones to so many fascinating careers,” says Kevin Lothridge, CEO of NFSTC.  “Forensic scientists get to assist in keeping our communities safe and solving crime.  It’s an interesting way to apply science to a great career.”

WorkNet Pinellas together with Junior Achievement, Pinellas County Schools, St. Petersburg College and various

STEM TEC Summer Career Institute Students learn to do a simple presumptive test for blood as one of the hands-on activities during their tour of the National Forensic Science Technology Center.

other partners provides career exploration and workplace readiness training to economically disadvantaged students aging from 14-16 through this four week summer program. The program consists of hands-on activities in various career industries, workplace readiness training, teambuilding, goal setting and personal motivation, in addition to employer site visits as job shadowing experiences in STEM specific fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

“Hearing first-hand from the field experts, combined with the activities NFCTC had planned, made the career exploration for the students entertaining as well as an educational experience they will never forget.” Marilyn Browne, special projects manager, WorkNet Pinellas.

“Our hope is that by hosting these kids and getting them engaged, they are inspired to reach higher academically and enrich our industry as professionals,” says Lothridge.

The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Largo, Florida. NFSTC provides training, assessment, technology assistance and evaluation to the justice and forensic communities to ensure quality forensic services nationwide. The organization receives funding from the National Institute of Justice and other federal agencies.