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Mock Crime Scene Used In STEAM Activity For 3 Classes

Students across three courses at Evergreen Park Community High School benefitted from a STEAM activity involving a mock crime scene the week before spring break. 

The staged scene took up an entire room in the school’s Learning Resource Center, complete with a fake body, overturned chairs, random items that could be considered evidence and crime scene tape posted to the doors. Students in Anna Papasideris’ Forensic Science class teamed with AP Language and Composition students in Michelle Vucsko’s class and Digital Photography students in Libby McArthur’s class to solve the crime. 

“The project is going really well,” Vucsko said. “My AP Language students were able to have insight into all the main steps of a criminal case, including investigating and analyzing information, synthesizing evidence, and then ending with the culminating task of writing an opening argument to either prosecute or defend a suspect.” 

The Forensic Science class set up the crime scene, which was photographed by the Photography class. 

In a flipped classroom strategy, students investigated the rules of crime scene photography, examined what it is like to be a crime scene photographer, and then compared it to that of a fine art photographer,” McArthur said. 

Vucsko’s class also heard from Dan Mills, a practicing trial lawyer, on effective strategies for opening arguments and persuasive speaking. 

“He gave our students some really helpful tips before they began writing and delivering their speeches,” Vucsko said. 

Papasideris’ class took notes on the crime scene and met with the AP Language students to work together on the evidence. 

McArthur said her photography students were excited to take part in the cross-curricular event. 

It was fun to learn about another career in the field of photography as well as give the students an experience that they would not forget,” she said. 

Vucsko said she and Papasideris are also both happy with the results and are already brainstorming about adding another course to the fold next year. 

“Perhaps adding a Spanish-speaking element and involving the Law classes in the trial phase,” she said.