CSI: VICKSBURG: High school students experience hands-on learning

Published 12:33 pm Wednesday, August 26, 2015

In the early morning hours of Aug. 19, a body was discovered in the courtyard at Hinds Community College Vicksburg-Warren Campus.

Luckily, the body wasn’t real, and it was planted there by Sylvia Lamb for her new biomed course.

Lamb said the students from Vicksburg and Warren Central high schools will spend all semester getting updated results back from autopsy reports.

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“The students took photos and notes at the crime scene,” she said. “They’ll have to turn in a report for this investigation and a photo of the crime scene.”

Lamb said the point is for students to learn about the science behind crime scene investigations.

“They’re going to do an experiment to learn about time of death and body temperature,” she said. “They’ll do a simulated experiment about the pills that are there to see how you figure out what substance is in there.”

As the course progresses, the students will learn about genetic diseases, diabetes and heart diseases, Lamb said.

“They will design and implement experiments as we go along to determine the cause of death,” she said. “They won’t find out until December.”

Lamb said the course is the first of four courses to be taught in the biomed division.

George Wilkerson, a sophomore at Warren Central, said the course appealed to him because he has always been interested in the medical field.

“I want to be a doctor when I grow up,” he said. “I like this type of project-based learning.”

Wilkerson said he’s looking forward to learning more about the human body and how it works.

“It’s more fun to not just sit at your desk writing papers all day,” he said. “You’re actually out. It’s different. I like it.”

The class is the first of its kind in the state and was partially funded by $80,000 the district received from the Mississippi Department of Education, said Lucy DeRossette, Vicksburg Warren School District Career Technical Administrator.

“We’ve had allied health for years, but the tip top of those kids are going to be registered nurses,” she said. “There was nothing for anyone who wanted to be a veterinarian, physician or a dentist.”

DeRossette said the district is currently working on offering the course for dual enrollment.

The crime scene was set up by second-year law enforcement students.