BGSU Firelands helped Sandusky students learn about forensic science over the summer

daynadayna johnson glovesA week-long summer camp for gifted students in grades four through six was held at BGSU Firelands in June. Students from the Sandusky City School Regional Center for Advanced Academic Studies (RCAAS) program attended the summer camp to learn the science behind forensic and criminal investigations. The camp is a component of the Dorn Fellowship that partners Sandusky City Schools and RCAAS with faculty from the BGSU Firelands and Bowling Green campuses. The partnership with RCAAS includes the recruitment of gifted elementary students and is coordinated by Mrs. Tara Toft, Coordinator of Advanced Academic Studies at Sandusky schools.
 
The summer camp was started after a 2014 grant from the Dorn Foundation allowed Sandusky City Schools to develop the Dorn Fellowship to accelerate their gifted student programming. The fellowship allows faculty from both the Firelands and Bowling Green campuses to collaborate with teachers at the RCAAS and spend six hours per week teaching at RCAAS and Sandusky Middle School. The summer camp was created as a component of this fellowship.
 
The first summer camp was held at RCAAS by adjunct faculty members, Dr. Charu Chopra and Ms. Cari Ritzenthaler. Based on the theme of pollinators, this camp created another opportunity for local students to benefit from this Fellowship.
 
The second summer camp was held at BGSU Firelands. One main goal of this camp is to encourage students to consider careers in STEM fields by providing them information about different career opportunities in STEM. The camp is a themed experience and also integrates the school curriculum. The Dorn Summer Experience is going on its fifth year and has focused on various disciplines including history, biology and chemistry. Some past themes include endangered animals, zombie apocalypse and immigration.
 
Faculty from both the BGSU Firelands and Bowling Green campuses worked collaboratively to design the summer experience for students. The summer camp brought together BGSU Firelands faculty from different disciplines and departments; Ms. Tracy McGinley (Criminal Justice), Dr. Subha Nagarajan (Chemistry) and Ms. Sylvia E. Hermo-Fedro (Radiologic Technology).  BGSU Firelands faculty also collaborated with Dr. Matthew Partin (Biology) from Bowling Green campus.
 
Students attending the program learned how to identify blood and blood types. They also learned how to collect fingerprints and perform experiments used by forensic chemists, biologists, radiologists and criminal investigators. Some other topics the students dove into included DNA analysis, handwriting analysis and human anatomy as it relates to crime.
 
This summer a special service-learning opportunity was available to BGSU Firelands students. During the camp, students taking a biochemistry class in the summer with Dr. Nagarajan designed experiments for the campers and assumed the role of a teacher as they guided the campers in their experiments.