Science teacher pitches forensic science class


Erika Krohomer

Marchinkoski teaches his A.P. Environmental Science class.

Erika Krohomer, Staff Writer

Science teacher Raymond Marchinkoski is preparing to take on a new class and introduce forensic science to students, offering them a unique experience with hands-on techniques that forensic scientists use.

He defined forensic science, explaining that, “It is the integration of earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, and math with critical-thinking, problem-solving and observational skills.”

If approved, the new class would be taught by Marchinkoski, who has been teaching for three years. He currently teaches A.P. Environmental Science and Aquatic Science classes, but is yearning for a new, different course.

He first heard of such a course when student teaching in Bristol. There, the students had an option to study forensic science, which instantly caught his attention. Now, he is preparing to teach this very class himself.

Science department head Barbara Bogart said she has heard from students who are interested in such a course. She said she is confident it would fill up with students if the class becomes official.“It started because of the students, and their hunger for education,” Bogart said. “We have to make sure it’s something they’re interested in.”

Bogart later broached the subject with Marchinkoski. Immediately, he expressed interest and is now building the course proposal.

Erika Krohomer
Students take notes during Marchinkoski’s class.

Approval for a new course would have to come from Associate Principal Meghan Martins, who is in charge of curriculum.

“We’re going to roll it out as a college prep class and depending on how much traction it gets,” Bogart said, “we’ll have to see where it goes.”

Marchinkoski said the class would be run with a “student driven” approach. He made it clear that it would focus on making students feel they have input that essentially drives the class in the direction that they determine.

He added how it would be an interdisciplinary class that will pull from criminal law, chemistry, and biology. There are a variety of topics that he would want to cover, including observational skills, measuring photography, sketching, fingerprinting, handwriting, ballistics, blood-spatter analysis, and drugs.

He further added he is most excited about teaching anthropology because it reminds him of his favorite television show, “Bones,” which is about a forensic anthropologist helping to solve crimes. He explained how it is fascinating topic that will get students more engaged in what they are learning.

Students have heard about the proposal and are already expressing excitement. Junior, Karol Granda said, “ It’s a career path I can pursue; I’m very interested in criminal justice.”

She said she would see it as a “headstart in a way” in her pursuit of a college degree in the field.

Junior Aaron Melendez, who is in A.P. Environmental Science, said: “It’s similar to police work that intrigues me. If I am able to take it, it can help me determine what I want to do later on.”

It is undetermined when it will be open to students, but the school has high hopes that it will be ready for next year. With that, they are anticipating the class to be a half-year credit.

“I want to create awareness and enthusiasm about forensic science and hopefully impact future forensic science,” Marchinkoski said. “ I think it’s important that we start education early in forensic science career, and if they get exposure to it earlier they will get the skills they need and develop.”