Lawrence Kaplan (Williams College, USA)
The course Chemistry and Crime and the Forensic Chemistry workshop (offered under the auspices of the Chemistry Collaborations, Workshops and Communities of Scholars (the successor to CWCS)) uses the fascination with crime detection and the discovery pedagogical approach to stimulate interest in chemistry. The teaching strategies employed include: the illustration of scientific principles in the resolution of well-known cases; the collection of evidence at a simulated crime scene; and the analysis of the evidence in the crime lab. The course and the workshop explore the forensic analysis of glass, ink, bullets, fingerprints, and drugs to introduce the concepts of basic, analytical, and organic chemistry. The analysis of alcohol, drugs, blood, and DNA introduce the principles of biochemistry, toxicology, pharmacology, and serology.
cCWCS is sponsored by the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (TUES) program as a “Type 3” project.