Students investigate crime scene as part of critical thinking class

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Park Hill High School students are investigating a crime scene in their classroom Tuesday, as part of a new course that introduces kids to careers in healthcare and science.

This is a different way to develop science, technology, engineering and math skills among high school students.

And that means making it interesting and fun through hands-on learning.

These students are investigating a staged crime scene in their science lab. They're gathering evidence, processing that evidence and using science and technology to help them figure out what happened.

The class is part of Project Lead The Way in the Park Hill School District, which is designed to better prepare students not only for college, but for careers that have a future.

"I know the frustration they feel when they are sitting there and I say, 'Okay, you need to make this go to this. Go!'" said Tara Bell, teacher of the course. "It's critical thinking, it's problem solving and it becomes real to them. My hope is through that they get a sense of accomplishment, 'I really can do this.'"

Students say the class feels like they're working in the real world.

"I really like the hands on affect," said Sydney Enloe, a senior. "We just don't have to sit at our desks and listen to lectures and take notes. We actually get to do stuff."

During the semester, students in the class will be introduced to different careers in health care and medicine through their hands-on exploration in these labs. Some teens say they like figuring out the answers on their own, like identifying simulated drugs by determining how they react with different chemicals.

Students tell FOX 4 News the class is a good way to explore what it's like to work in science-oriented careers and discover a passion that they may not have otherwise found.