Isis students solve ‘murder’ mystery
Grant provides pathway to world of forensic science
SOLVING a “murder” at the University of Southern Queensland Fraser Coast has given Isis District State High School students an opportunity to learn forensic science techniques.
Following the discovery of a “body” in a bakery, the Year 12 students investigated the “murder” to determine the cause of death.
USQ scientist Dr Sunil Panchal, from Toowoomba, ran the initiative, A Mouldy Murder, at the USQ Fraser Coast in Hervey Bay.
Fourteen Year 12 biology students from the local high school attended the course.
Vice-chancellor Professor Jan Thomas said the Mouldy Murder workshops allowed teams of Fraser Coast and Isis district students an opportunity to undertake experiments in genetics and biotechnology based around a forensic science investigation.
Professor Thomas said the goal of the workshops was to allow students from regional areas to access advanced biotechnology.
Isis District State High School head of department Andy Davey said the program had been developed in consultation with the school and had been designed to give students a “hands on” feel of what DNA fingerprinting and recombinant DNA technology was all about.
“Studying recombinant DNA technology in the school environment is very difficult as it has to be learnt mainly as theory,” Mr Davey said.
“To overcome this, IDSHS obtained a grant and approached the University of Southern Queensland to gauge interest in a proposed one-day program for Year 12 students.”
BUDDING CSI: The wow factor of a murder scene in a university laboratory was an exciting classroom for senior students from Isis District State High School. USQ has given students like Hayden Marvell and Eleisha Furlonger an opportunity to learn forensic science techniques.