At the Forensic Sciences Mentoring Institute (FMI) Summer Science Program in Willow Grove, high school students spend 7 weeks investigating and solving a crime while learning how to be a forensic scientist. Students will analyze crime scene evidence based on actual cases including homicide, sexual assault and drug trafficking investigations under the mentorship of forensic experts. All FMI students learn how to test for DNA and determine the presence of drugs and poisons by examining the following types of evidence:
Students in the FMI Summer Science Program will learn through interactive, hands-on experiences using the same state-of-the-art instrumentation and techniques used in forensic laboratories. Throughout the program, students will get oriented to the laboratory and their assigned criminal investigation as they rotate between the three major areas of a crime laboratory:
After examining evidence and analyzing the data, students will serve as expert witnesses by presenting their case in front of a judge in a trial setting where their friends and family are invited to watch.
MEET OUR CRIME-SOLVING SCIENTISTS
One of the distinctive features of the FMI program is the synergy and collaboration which exists among our students, college mentors and practicing forensic scientists! Our program is based within the Center for Forensic Science and Research Education – a world renowned forensic academic institution, which is operated under the direction of some of the most prominent scientists and toxicologists within the forensic science industry. In addition to forging connections with our highly renowned mentors and staff, students will also have the opportunity to meet and hear from highly accredited special guest speakers who visit the FMI program to meet students and discuss the forensic sciences.
GO BEHIND THE SCENES
TOUR A WORLD CLASS FORENSIC LABORATORY
FMI students have a unique opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes tour of NMS Labs: the nation’s top private forensic laboratory. Since the 1970s, NMS Labs has been at the forefront of some of the most high-profile forensic casework that our nation has ever seen. During the visit, students will learn about infamous criminal trials that NMS has worked on while observing scientists working on authentic evidence from the 500+ cases received daily from across the country. But that’s not the only extracurricular activity – FMI students will visit a local university, have an opportunity to demonstrate their hidden talents during our annual talent show, and will take a field trip to Alverthorpe Park for a student picnic!
COLLEGE PREPARATORY SUPPORT
As many high school students begin to consider college options, students accepted into the FMI program will have an opportunity to fast-track this process, thanks to the tutelage and guidance offered by our mentors who help guide students through the process. In addition to taking a field trip to a local university campus where students will meet with and hear from professors and members of the university staff, the FMI program mentors serve as a personal concierge for our students as they begin their journey towards college preparation. Whether FMI students are wondering about timelines, selecting the right school, crafting an essay, or just have general questions about college life, our mentors are an invaluable and ongoing resource for high school students pursuing higher education.
TUITION & SCHOLARSHIP
The FMI Summer Science Program is now offered at no cost to attending students. As always, admission into the program will be based on merit, which is determined based on submitted application, transcript, essay, and recommendation letter. Students accepted to the program who qualify for financial aid will be provided a travel scholarship to aid in their attendance of the program. Scholarships are primarily based on family financial need; therefore we require income/tax filing information as part of the application package in order to determine scholarship eligibility.
- Currently enrolled in high school
- Sixteen years of age or older by June 24th, 2019
- Completion or evidence of enrollment in biology, chemistry, and algebra with passing grades
- Availability throughout the duration of the program (weekdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm)
IMPORTANT 2019 DATES
- Monday January 7th: Application Period Opens
- Thursday April 11th: Open House #1
- Saturday April 13th: Open House #2
- Monday April 22nd: Application Period Closes
- Monday January 7th – Friday May 3rd: Phone Interviews
- Monday May 13th – Thursday May 16th: In-Person Interviews
- Friday May 24th: Notice of Acceptance/Rejection
- Saturday June 22nd: FMI New Student Orientation
- Monday June 24th – Friday August 9th: FMI Summer Program Dates
- Thursday July 4th: Closed for Independence Day
- Saturday August 10th: Presentation Day (Family & Friends Welcome)
This year, there will be two FMI Open Houses to accommodate interested high school students and their busy extra-curricular schedules.
- Thursday April 11th from 4:30pm-6:30pm
- Saturday, April 13th from 9:00am-11:00am
The Open House will begin with a short explanation of the Summer Science Program, the requirements for application, and a brief Q&A session where we can answer any of your questions. Next, prospective students will head into the laboratory for a tour and exciting forensic science demonstrations! These demonstrations will show you what it is like to analyze forensic science evidence, similarly to how cases will be analyzed during the program. The three areas covered in the demonstrations are forensic biology, forensic chemistry, and forensic toxicology! Following the demonstrations, the Open House will gather for a final Q&A session and departure.
FMI ALUMNI UPDATE!
Congratulations to our 2018 FMI alumnus Jingjing and her team for coming in 2nd place in the Design Thinking Philadelphia competition for their work on aquaponics! “Design thinking” is a creative and structured approach to problem solving that helps people understand and address complex needs.
Jingjing and her team decided to peruse aquaponics in order to help with the growing need for fresh and healthy food in urban settings. Aquaponics is a growing urban trend which develops systems that combine conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics in a symbiotic environment. “Due to the growing population, land and soil has been occupied for buildings to provide shelter for people, many with obesity. Healthy foods are expensive and fast food is cheap, which is contributing to rising obesity rates, particularly in urban areas.” Jingjing stated. “We realized that we could use mini aquaponics systems for people to plant and raise their own healthy foods at home, without the need for soil.”
Jingjing accredited some of her success to the FMI program “If I wasn’t in FMI, I don’t think I would have felt comfortable in the presentation. I even shared some skills with my teammates which was helpful!!!”. Congratulations again Jingjing; we can’t wait to see what you do next!