Fairmont State University has been awarded grant funding from West Virginia Science and Research, a division of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. The $12,806 award will support the purchase of a Forensic Comparison Microscope, a 3D Light Scanner, and hardware to run both pieces of equipment.
The new equipment will be added to Fairmont State’s Forensic Science laboratory. These additions will engage students in hands-on learning through coursework and research opportunities while allowing faculty to extend the reach of their research. Both instruments will be incorporated into the summer Forensic Science and Analytical Chemistry (FACT) camp and forensic science exploration days.
The new comparison microscope will be integrated into the Spring 2020 curriculum for courses such as Introduction to Forensic Science, and Trace Analysis and Microscopy, providing a more in-depth and accurate experience in a variety of ballistics laboratory activities. The 3D Scanner will be implemented immediately into courses including Introduction to Forensic Science, Forensic Biology, Forensic Anthropology, and Osteology. Students will not only learn how to use the scanner and how it is used in the field, but will have the opportunity to practice and study using digital skeletons.
Both pieces of equipment will advance student and faculty research efforts in programs beyond Forensic Science including Exercise Science, and Biology students. The proposal was developed by Kristy Henson, Assistant Professor of Forensic Science.
“Having access to this equipment will allow us to enhance our laboratory experience and undergraduate research opportunities, giving us the ability to graduate competent students who have experience with relevant pieces of modern equipment used in the field of forensic science,” Henson stated.
This project is part of the Forensic Science Program’s mission of developing professional, ethical graduates whose competence in problem-solving, legal analysis and application, quantitative reasoning, investigation, and scientific laboratory procedure can be applied to immediate employment or advanced study.