Anna-Jonesboro High School Students Try to Solve Fictitious Death

Dec 6, 2018

Most of us have only been exposed to crime scene investigations through television and movies.

But, 20 seniors at Anna-Jonesboro Community High School are spending the school year getting hands-on experience trying to solve the fictitious death of a young woman through a new class called Principles of Biomedical Science.

The school’s director of curriculum and instruction, Scott Finders, says A-J earned a grant award of 35-thousand dollars, split over two years, to get the process started. He says the majority of the grant went to purchase equipment.

Science teacher Courtney Garner teaches the class. Until recently, she had to go through weekly, online training with around 30 other instructors across the country to help her learn how to teach the course.

The students say they were able to get into the role of a crime scene investigator when the class first saw the lifeless, fictitious body of Anna Garcia.

Students examine the fictitious crime scene at the beginning of the Principles of Biomedical Science class in August.
Credit Facebook

The day I was there, the students were participating in an exercise on blood typing.

Students test fake blood to help determine who may have been at the crime scene.
Credit Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

Students kept the "blood" samples in specifically labeled containers. Here is the one for the "victim" Anna Garcia.
Credit Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

They also had to document the results.
Credit Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

Garner says the students have an evidence board to track the investigation throughout the school year.

Students track the investigation on the evidence board.
Credit Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

The class hears from professionals in various fields to enhance their understanding of biomedical science.

Students had the opportunity to discuss careers in Emergency Medical Services field with Jaime Watkins and Grant Capel from the Union County Ambulance Service.
Credit Facebook

Garner will determine Anna Garcia’s cause of death by the end of the school year. I plan to check back with the class to find out what caused her demise.