AP, Honors Biology Test Their Detective Skills


Chase Golem

Junior Saisrivarsha Venigalla places evidence markers around the scene on the EHS auditorium on Jan. 23, 2023.

Chase Golem, Student Life editor

Over the past couple of days, the AP Biology and Honors Biology II classes have been working hard trying to solve a murder mystery.

The two classes worked together to come up with a suspect after a murder on a walking trail, surrounded by impending winter weather and heavy time constraints.

The crime scene had moved from the back staircase to the auditorium this year, giving biology teacher Julia Doll more creativity for the scene.

“The setup was very creative and way more in depth than I imagined it would be,” senior Amanda Woolsey, who was a supervisor, said.  “The scene had incredible weather and time effects and the little details inside of the evidence really made it feel cool.”

The lab took place on Jan. 23 and 26 and each day consisted of doing something different. The first day was gathering evidence and the second day was testing the data and evidence.

“It was a pretty cool experience,” senior Nhyira Adu-Affum, team leader for DNA, said. “I’ve always been interested in forensics, so I found this very interesting.”

The CSI lab has been going on for many years at EHS, and it gives biology students a taste of what it’s like to work in a forensics field. There are many components to the lab as in real forensics lab; blood, hair, footprints, fingerprints and public relations.

“There were lots of different teams that all had to work together for the lab to work out,” senior Adelaide Fensterman, who worked with DNA electrophoresis, said. “All the teams had to work together for the lab to work in order for the suspects to be narrowed down.”

Every year for the lab, the theatre department works with Doll to create the scene. They do the lighting, props and act as the deceased person in the scene.

“This year it was on a stage with leaves around the body, then at the end of the scene day it would get darker and eventually snowed,” junior Jacob McKey, who was head of public relations, said.

Two sections of AP Biology and Honors Biology II worked together to solve the crime, which required first through fourth hour to do so on Jan. 26. Rooms on the third floor were used to house the separate parts of the lab.

“I think it was fun doing it with Honors Biology II, the amount of people all working together added a nice sense of harmony,” Woolsey said. “I didn’t really know a lot of these people but I learned a lot about them in the span of four hours.”

After days of work, the teams come together to determine the suspect. While they are still working on finding whoever it is, the suspect list gets narrowed down using the evidence.

“A culmination of every team’s effort eventually led to us finding a central suspect,” McKey said. “I believe that the suspect is a pretty strong one.”