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Grand Canyon University hosts Forensic Science Day to get students interested in field

Employment of forensic science technicians is expected to grow 13% from 2022 to 2032. That’s according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Grand Canyon University hosted an event Thursday to get prospective students excited about careers in that field.

More than 1,000 high school and community college students filed into the campus arena to check out booths run by GCU seniors.

Melissa Beddow is the director of the Forensic Science Program at GCU. 

"So they get to meet students that are currently in the program and hear about what they program's like, the classes they're going to take and see what it takes to become a forensic scientist," Beddow said.

Destiny Ayala is getting a bachelor’s degree in forensic science. She was running a booth about bite mark analysis.

“We swab for DNA first, we take photographs, and then we can take a Mikrosil if appropriate," she said. "Mikrosil is safe on skin so we’re able to do that, and Mikrosil basically takes just like an impression of those teeth marks.”

Ayala added that bite marks aren't used as much in court anymore because the science isn't exact, but it's used as supplemental evidence. She hopes to be a crime scene or lab tech after college.

Hands-on activities ranged from blood spatter analysis, to lifting fingerprints and comparing handwriting samples.

Aiden Whitney is a junior at Casteel High School. He’d just finished observing a mock crime scene to try to determine what might’ve happened.

“It seemed to have been staged as a suicide, even though it possibly wasn’t," Whitney said. "By the looks of the shell casings, they were too far away from the victim to shoot himself in the first place and the money and also two phones is odd for someone to have.”

Whitney is considering pursuing a degree in forensic science or robotics after he graduates from high school.

Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.