SRU Chemistry Department planning mock crime scene, Nov. 18


Crime scene tape

There will be a mock crime scene on The Quad at Slippery Rock University, Nov. 18, to promote a new forensic science class that is being offered next year by the SRU Chemistry Department.

Nov. 12, 2021

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Call it a mock crime scene, an elaborate game of Clue or an academic demonstration, but don't call the police -- the event planned at Slippery Rock University, 12:30-1:45 p.m., Nov. 18, on The Quad, is a simulation; however, the opportunities to participate in a game or enroll in a new course at SRU are real.

The SRU Chemistry Department is hosting the mock crime scene in a 16-by-16-foot space near the Advanced Technology and Science Hall that will include several pieces of evidence, and students who stop by will be able to evaluate the scene and submit guesses to explain what could have happened and solve the crime. The winning submission, as selected by the event organizer, will receive a $50 gift card redeemable at the SGA Bookstore. University Police is working with the Chemistry Department to oversee the event.

"The purpose is to engage with students and get them interested in the new Introduction to Forensic Science course," said Andre Braz, assistant professor of chemistry. "We will have evidence spread around an area that will be isolated by crime scene tape, and students can play detective by looking around and trying to come up with a solution."

Andre Braz


The Introduction to Forensic Science course, a 200-level chemistry course, is planned to be offered in the spring 2022 semester on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Twenty students are needed for the class to be offered and there are 40 spots available. The class can be taken as an elective or as part of several thematic threads within Rock Studies, which is SRU's required general education program.

Students in the class will study forensics, which is the application of science to examine physical evidence obtained in the investigation of a crime. The class will use high-impact practices, which are teaching practices endorsed by the Association of American Colleges & Universities, to provide an immersed research experience. Some activities in the class will include analyzing fingerprints, conducting luminol tests to detect trace amounts of substances such as blood that glow in a darkened room, and techniques for studying ink-drawn lines on paper, which is an ongoing research project that Braz is leading at SRU.

Students interested in enrolling in the class are encouraged discuss it with their academic advisers when they meet to register for spring classes. The registration process is now open.

For more information, visit the Chemistry Department webpage or contact Braz at 724.738.2985 or

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |