Due to the ongoing challenges and uncertainty stemming from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) within our community, it is with sincere regret that we must announce the cancelation of the 2020 Forensic Sciences Mentoring Institute (FMI) Summer Program and affiliated Open House Events.
The FMI program has been offered to local students each and every year since it was founded in 1994; however, the safety and health of students and staff is always the highest priority at The Fredric Rieders Family Foundation.
We do appreciate and recognize the time and effort you spent applying for our FMI Summer Science Program and regret not having the chance to have meet you this year. For those who remain eligible, we hope to see you reapply for the 2021 FMI Summer Science Program. In the meantime, should you have any questions regarding the many career paths within the field of forensic science, we encourage you to contact us at FMI@frfoundation.org.
We thank you for your understanding, and look forward to the return of the FMI program in 2021.
At the Forensic Sciences Mentoring Institute (FMI) Summer Science Program, high school students spend 7-weeks investigating and solving a crime in an actual forensic laboratory.
Analyze crime scene evidence from homicide, sexual assault and drug trafficking investigations under the mentorship of forensic experts. Work with your team to solve a realistic crime situation by gathering and testing evidence and analyzing your 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 Summer Science 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. For the first time, prospective students can apply for one of 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.
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
MEET OUR CRIME-SOLVING SCIENTISTS
One of the distinctive features of the FMI program is the ability to work with and learn from leaders in the field of forensic science and law enforcement while working with college mentors. synergy and collaboration which exists among our students, college mentors and practicing forensic scientists! Our program is based within a world-renowned forensic laboratory, which is operated under the direction of some of the most prominent forensic scientists in the industry. In the past, students have also heard from special guest speakers from forensic agencies such as the DEA, NMS Labs, The Innocence Project, The Montgomery County Bomb Squad, AFMGS and more.
“My favorite part of the program was being able to bond with your teammates and the mentors. All of that is what really helps for you to learn – the connection and them knowing you personally and how you learn, I think that’s what really helped us and that’s the best experience – the chemistry!” – 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 Summer Science 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 20th, 2021 (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 2021 DATES
This year there will be two FMI Open Houses to accommodate interested high school students and their busy extra-curricular schedules.
Questions? Email us: FMI@frfoundation.org
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!