Summit High School students learn how to be crime solvers in cyber forensics class | News

This is the time of year when some high school students tend to get sidetracked by springtime and don’t pay close attention to their studies.

But Anoopa Advani, a teacher at Summit High School, is making sure to keep her students interested and engrossed. That’s because of her skill as a teacher — and also because the subject matter happens to be very fascinating (if somewhat morbid).

Advani teaches cyber forensics and advanced cyber forensics, encompassing topics such as autopsy and toxicology, in a public safety pathway.

The students learn how to analyze physical and chemical evidence, including microscopy, chromatology, and the analysis of fingerprints, hair, fiber, glass, and documents.

“Two-thirds of the students are female,” Advani said. “It’s amazing to see so many young females interested in this field.”

One of those students, Adalena Hernandez, said Advani has created a very good learning environment.

“We’ve learned a lot about how to analyze different evidence in a crime scene,” she said, “and we’ve learned everything from why bugs play a huge role, to why crime scenes end up the way they do, to how to properly fingerprint suspects.”

Another student, Arturo Gamboa, recalled how one of his classmates analyzed the circumstances of the death of Kurt Cobain, the vocalist for the rock band Nirvana.

“With blood spatter (a technique that seeks to piece together events that caused bleeding), it helped us determine that it was a suicide,” Gamboa said.

He added that the class is “very fun and interactive. Everyone has a part — there’s never a dull moment.”

Advani said the course includes real-world applications because she works with professionals at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as well as the Fontana Police Department, which is very supportive of the class.

In fact, student Kevin Min is an Explorer with the Fontana P.D., learning about patrol-based scenarios, and he gets a different perspective in the cyber forensics class. “Here we learn how to package evidence and get fingerprints,” he said.

The class has inspired some of the students to think about going on to become professional CSI sleuths.

“I didn’t have an interest in going into this, but this class has made me grow a stronger interest, so I might consider pursuing it in the future,” Sydney Singletary said.

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