Isis stu­dents solve ‘mur­der’ mys­tery

Grant pro­vides path­way to world of foren­sic science

Isis Town and Country - - News -

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.”

PHOTO: VA­LERIE HOR­TON

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.

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