By Alina Cuen
On Monday, Jan. 26, science teacher Ms. Elaine Straub set her forensics science students “free”—so to speak—letting them venture to Pueblo’s garden to dig up some bones.
Indeed, Straub’s forensics science students were excavating bones in order to solve mock “crime scenes”.
“What I’m trying to teach my students is how to cooperate with each other while they are excavating bones in order to solve crime scenes,” Straub said. “It’s just another way for them to work as a team.”
Sophomore Marcela Herrera, a student in the class, said, “Of all of my classes at Pueblo, I like coming to forensics the most because Ms. Straub lets us go out and learn—instead of reading out of a boring textbook. We learn so much more when we are hands-on. I don’t know why any other science teacher would want to teach any other way.”
Elena Elmer, a junior in the class, said, “Everybody in forensics class learns all of the interesting things that have to do with crime scenes, like blood splatters and bones—stuff that you might see on Crime Scene Investigation.”
For three years now, Straub wholeheartedly believes that kinesthetic learning works best in her forensics classes.
“Forensics is definitely one of those classes that you can’t teach solely out of a textbook,” Straub said. “Students love the freedom to explore outside of the classroom, and learning increases so much more by having them discover for themselves the answers and to solve the mysteries hidden in the ground.”
Straub added that she plans to continue this activity for as long as she teaches forensics science.
Sophomore Jacquelyn Gutierrez describes herself as an enthusiastic member of the forensics class. “I really like participating in the crime scenes that Ms. Straub creates for us because it gives us a taste of the real world,” she said.
Gutierrez said, “I’m really looking forward to the next crime scene that Ms. Straub makes up for us.”