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Catawba College News Service
Catawba College’s chemistry department plans to share some of its resources and expertise with Rowan-Salisbury high schools this fall by offering a forensic laboratory analysis course for high school students.
Dr. Mark Sabo, an associate professor of chemistry who has worked at the Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., will teach the course.
The course is designed to introduce high school students to the field of forensic science and the state-of-the-art instruments used in higher education and crime laboratories.Since most high schools do not have this type of equipment, Sabo and school system officials hope the course will give Rowan-Salisbury students a stronger background by exposing them to the application of chemistry in today’s world.
The course is also expected to provide a mechanism to bring local high school science teachers together to share ideas, materials and equipment.
Forensic laboratory analysis classes will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., beginning Aug. 23.The 15 students accepted for the course would be enrolled at Catawba during their fourth block and will receive three hours of Catawba College credit for the course.
The course is weighted on a 5.0 scale and will be taught exclusively to high school students who have had at least a year of chemistry and show strong aptitude for laboratory work.
Some potential laboratory experiences include:
– Identifying volatile organic compounds from decomposition of human remains;
– Determining the amount of cocaine on paper currency;
– Arson accelerant analysis, using gas chromatography mass spectrometry; and
– Drug analysis by high performance liquid chromatography.
Interested students are encouraged to pick up an application packet from their guidance counselor or to contact the Catawba College Admissions Office at 704-637-4402.
Students must submit a course application, an application for “Joint Enrollment” admission to Catawba College and a recommendation form filled out by their science teacher.
All materials must be submitted to the Catawba College Admissions Office at 2300 W. Innes St., Salisbury, NC 28144.
Deadline for applying has been extended to June 15. There is no application fee, and the course is being offered tuition-free. Students who enroll in the course will be expected to pay a $50 lab fee, purchase textbooks and provide their own transportation to Catawba’s campus.
For more information, e-mail Sabo at mssabo@catawba.edu.

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