Science on Patrol (SOP) is an innovative Project that links science knowledge and skills with the real world applications of forensic science for middle school students. The key element, however, is the use of research-based findings to shape learning environments specifically designed to attract and retain females and other underrepresented minorities to advanced study of science and science-related careers.
During year one, SOP was piloted in PAL centers in New York City. The program expanded to five cities: Albany, NY; Brick Township, NJ; Buffalo, NY; Portland, OR; and Miami Beach, FL. During the last two years, workshops were conducted throughout the United States at PAL annual meetings and in three PAL regions. We've been fortunate to have crime scene professionals, forensic scientists and police officers and detectives participate in the development of the materials along with participating in the training sessions.
The materials are constantly being revised and are currently being posted on the SOP website for use by registered PAL personnel.
The workshops are designed to build the capacity of instructors to implement compelling and challenging problems in environments that are gender-neutral, promote collaboration, encourage problem-solving and reflect both research and best practices.
Science on Patrol is funded by the 'Research on Gender in Science and Engineering' program of the National Science Foundation in 2002
Document: National Science Standards and SOP
Solving crimes based upon actual crimes through analyzing forensic evidence is what ‘Science on Patrol’ uses to increase students’ understanding in science, mathematics, and critical thinking. Students apply scientific processes and skills actually used by crime scene investigators to solve replications of actual crimes.. This informal science project is aimed squarely at raising the level of participation and achievement in science for adolescent females and other members of underrepresented minority groups by achieving these goals: Using research-based strategies to attract and retain underrepresented minorities, particularly females, in informal science programs; Increasing interest and achievement in science knowledge and skills; and Raising awareness of and interest in science-based careers. SOP is a project of the Institute for Schools of the Future and local Police Athletic League Centers, local Police Departments and local crime scene units. We wish to thank the following members of the New York City Police Department for their invaluable help in preparing the initial materials and by sharing their experiences and expertise: Sgt. Joseph Blozis: formerly of the NYC Crime Scene Unit, Coordinator Biotrack Police Lab Detective Kevin Flanagan: Manhattan Robbery Unit, Retired Lt. Paul O’Connor, Manhattan Robbery Unit, Retired Photo thanks to Sgt. Reid Johnson, King County, WA Sheriff's Office.