At the Forensic Sciences Mentoring Institute (FMI), a program of the Fredric Rieders Family Foundation, high school students spend seven weeks investigating and solving a crime using actual forensic techniques and instrumentation. The FMI program has been a longstanding program, offered yearly since it was founded in 1994.
At the Forensic Sciences Mentoring Institute (FMI), high school students spend 7-weeks investigating and solving a crime using actual forensic techniques and instrumentation.
Students will analyze crime scene evidence from homicide, sexual assault and drug trafficking investigations under the mentorship of forensic experts. They will work with a team to solve a realistic crime situation by gathering and testing evidence and analyzing their data.
“I think one of the differences between school and this program is that at school you learn a lot of things just to memorize them, but here when you are learning, you try to understand it, you execute it, and the mentors are just so great.” – FMI Student Testimonial
Students in the FMI program will learn through interactive, hands-on experiences using the same state-of-the-art instrumentation and techniques used in the world’s top forensic laboratories in three different forensic science disciplines:
Forensic Biology involves the identification of body fluids such as blood, semen and saliva from items of evidence. This is followed by DNA analysis used to identify the source of a biological sample.
Forensic Chemistry is the identification of controlled substances such as cocaine, marijuana and synthetic drugs. Also included is analysis of evidence from arson and explosives investigations.
Forensic Toxicology is the study of the effects of drugs and chemicals in the human body. This can be used to determine cause of death, impairment or used for workplace drug testing.
Presentation Day After examining evidence and analyzing the data, students serve as expert witnesses presenting their case in front of a judge in a trial setting. Friends and family are invited!
“I would really recommend the program. Especially because you are getting real world experiences and I think that for anyone who is really committed and passionate about science it’s such an amazing opportunity.” – FMI Student Testimonial
GO BEHIND THE SCENES
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 these infamous criminal trials while observing scientists working on authentic evidence from the 500+ cases received daily from across the country. FMI students will also visit a local university, have an opportunity to show off their hidden talents during our annual talent show, demonstrate their cooking skills at a potluck, and will head to the great outdoors for picnic day!
“I’ve seen people who actually work here in the lab using the same things that we’re using!” – FMI Student Testimonial
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 guidance offered by our mentors. 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 an invaluable and ongoing resource 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 there to help! Our program is designed to build key life and leadership skills including public speaking, interpersonal communication and teamwork.
TUITION & SCHOLARSHIP
The FMI program is now offered at no cost to attending students. Admission is based on merit determined by submitted application, transcript, essay, and recommendation letter. Students are responsible for their daily meals and transportation to our lab facility. Travel to-and-from scheduled tours and trips are covered. 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. Please note, housing accommodations are not provided for students wishing to attend from out-of-town.
- Currently enrolled in high school
- Sixteen years of age or older by June 26th, 2023 (no exceptions – this is required for insurance compliance)
- Completion or evidence of enrollment in algebra and either biology or chemistry with passing grades (see forensic area specific requirements within application)
- Availability throughout the duration of the program (weekdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm)
IMPORTANT 2022 DATES
- January 20, 2023 – Applications Open
- May 5, 2023 – Application Deadline; Application and all support materials must be received by midnight to be considered for the program
- Early May – Interviews for the Program
- May 26, 2023 – Notification of Acceptance
- June 24, 2023 – Student/Parent Orientation Day
- June 26 – August 11, 2023 – Program Dates; Program starts each day at 9 am and runs until 4 pm, Monday-Friday
- August 12, 2023 – Presentation Day
FMI ALUMNI UPDATE!
Congratulations to our 2021 FMI alumnus Ji, a recipient not only one, but two, scholarship awards that will support her in her studies this fall as she begins college at Temple University in Philadelphia Pennsylvania! After a successful summer as a FMI Student this summer, Ji is the recipient of the Richard A. Ash Scholarship by the Philadelphia Foundation and the Door of Opportunity Scholarship by the George Snow Scholarship Fund of Esler Companies. Ji will be studying Biology at Temple as a freshman this fall, and plans to obtain her master’s in public health after her bachelor’s degree. In the future Ji plans to pursue a career as an environmental heath scientist. Congratulations on your success Ji, we are so proud! We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!”