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SIUE's STEM Center Welcomes High School Students to

SIUE's STEM Center Welcomes High School Students to "Forensic Fridays"

Nothing captures the imagination more than a fictional "whodunit," which is happening Fridays now through July on the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus.

A tale of mystery, mayhem and murder is unfolding during "Forensic Fridays" at the Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Research, Education and Outreach at SIUE.

Who killed Howard Ashland? Was it Kristi Dowrong Smith, a jealous research assistant; Gwendolyn Dolittle, a glory hungry project director; or one of the other suspects in the sinister strangling? Ashland, a 17-year-old boy genius was on the verge of discovering how to make transparent aluminum when he was found "dead," slumped over in his research lab with a note pinned to his lab coat. A mock crime scene has been staged in the Science Building basement and will stay in place until the dastardly crime is solved.

"The suspects have remained very guarded thus far," said lead officer Constable Jay Tate. "Not surprisingly, they all have stated they are innocent, and most are confused about being suspects at all. We will be relying heavily on forensic evidence to solve this case."

It is up to the more than 40 high school students from the SIUE East St. Louis Center's Upward Bound Math and Science program to figure out who committed the crime.

The students received instruction from forensic experts last week and are now utilizing real crime scene investigation tactics and technology to analyze fingerprints, clothing fibers, fluids and other evidence they will have to collect. Once the students have evaluated all of the evidence they will present their findings at a mock trial before St. Clair County Judge Laninya Cason on July 13.

"Forensic Fridays" is the brainchild of Sean Herberts, outreach coordinator with the STEM Center, and Matt Johnson, a teacher at the East St. Louis Charter High School.

For the shocking details or more information about the "Forensic Fridays" project, visit " Forensic Fridays."

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