Elective classes offer new opportunities


Michael Heuberger (12) dusts his desk in carbon powder in order to reveal fingerprints underneath. The forensics class students were allowed to find their own fingerprints on any hard, non-porous surface.

Samantha Gross and lakecentralnews

It is not every day that science students are performing CSI-inspired lab tasks or studying biologically-distinct samples found outside of the school. In Mrs. Rachael Thomas’ and Mrs. Jackie Ruiz’s elective science classes, Forensics and Environment Science, students have the opportunity to expand their scientific horizons.

Last Friday, Mrs. Thomas’ forensics class had a lab in which they dusted surfaces with carbon powder to reveal fingerprints left behind by oils and perspiration while a few classrooms down, Mrs. Ruiz’s class was studying biodiversity by looking at their samples under a microscope.

“We [were] trying to find microorganisms and exoskeletons,” Zachary Benson (12) said.

The classes both give students the hands-on learning they need to be successful in the class. Elective classes such as these along with Human Genetics and Zoology allow students to try out subjects not normally included in the required curriculum. Although they are not required classes, the turnout is large, as Thomas now teaches five blocks of Forensics. The class emphasizes the collection, testing and analysis of crime scene evidence while Environmental Science emphasizes learning about the ecosystem students live in.

“We focus a lot on the environment and the effects that plants have on it,” Benson said.

Whether it’s picking a criminal out of a line-up or collecting specimens and studying their structure, elective classes like Forensics and Environmental Science offer students a chance to step outside the normal curriculum and explore topics they find interesting.

“We are just learning new things every day,” Vanessa Berumen (12) said.