Overview: Course

The specification for this junior cycle short course in CSI: exploring forensic science focuses on developing cognitive, social and practical skills through four inter-connected strands. The four strands presented here are: The work of a forensic scientist; Scene of the crime: evidence collection; Scientific laboratory testing: solving the crime and Concluding the inquiry.

Strand 1: The work of a forensic scientist  

This first strand introduces students to the world of forensic science. They learn the terminology associated with and the processes of forensic science. They also learn how to work accurately and safely with science equipment.

Strand 2: Scene of the crime: evidence collection  

This strand deepens students’ understanding of the importance of process in gathering and recording scientific evidence.

Strand 3: Scientific laboratory testing: solving the crime  

In this strand, students carry out investigations and further tests, developing theories about the mock crime they are investigating.

Strand 4: Concluding the inquiry  

This strand provides opportunities for team work as students make connections between findings from earlier strands, develop conclusions and draw their investigations to a close. Students also undertake a reflective process, identifying the knowledge, skills and attitudes they have developed through undertaking the course.

Although the strands are interconnected to some degree, they have been developed to be undertaken sequentially to reflect the actual process involved in solving a crime.

Teamwork is encouraged throughout all four strands. Students collaborate, peer-explain, seek feedback, provide feedback and reflect on their work. Practical, hands-on and problem-solving learning activities should be in evidence across all strands of the course.

The Classroom-Based Assessments outlined below reflect the learning students undertake in this NCCA short course. Schools have the flexibility to adapt any NCCA-developed short course to suit their particular needs and school context, with the exception of the Classroom-Based Assessments, which all students taking this short course will complete. Schools may also develop their own short course(s) and related Classroom-Based Assessments. Guidelines for schools who wish to develop their own short courses are available at http://www.curriculumonline.ie/Junior-cycle/Junior-Cycle_Short-Courses.

 The learning outcomes in this short course are broadly aligned with the level indicators for Level 2 of the National Framework of Qualifications (Appendix 1).

The course has been designed for approximately 100 hours of student engagement.