Forensic experts convene at FIU, promote STEM careers

Posted by Ayleen Barbel Fattal

FIU’s International Forensic Research Institute (IFRI) is hosting its annual forensic science symposium Tuesday, March 15, and Wednesday, March 16, in Room 100 of the Green Library at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus.


This marks the fifth year forensic science professionals convene at FIU for the largest scientific meeting in the field of forensics in South Florida.

The symposium features the latest in research findings and new technologies. FIU faculty and students as well as forensic science professionals will cover topics including interviewing intoxicated witnesses, bloodstain pattern analysis, one-step cocaine detection, examining digital video evidence, screening for designer drugs and rapid detection of “Flakka” – a highly addictive synthetic amphetamine-like stimulant.

This year, the symposium will also include a High School Student Forensic Academy where nearly 100 high school STEM students from Miami-Dade county will experience forensic science hands-on. The goal of the academy is to inspire students to pursue STEM careers through interactions with forensic scientists, professors, researchers and FIU students.

The high schoolers will learn about DNA, IFRI’s dogs and drones research, tour our state-of-the art trace evidence and DNA profiling facilities, and participate in a K9 Unit demonstration. Through resources from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there will also be a demonstration on drugs of abuse and what effects illicit drugs can have.

“The academy activities were designed in such way that the students could hear different perspectives of forensic science, such as how they can become a forensic examiner or what are new trends and research in forensic science,” said Tatiana Trejos assistant director of academic programs for IFRI. “They will also learn about the role of FIU and the International Forensic Research Institute in advancing forensic sciences in the United States.”

The High School Student Forensic Academy begins at 9 a.m., Tuesday, March 15. Registration for scientific symposium participants begins Tuesday at noon. Symposium workshops and breakout sessions will take place Wednesday starting at 9 a.m.

The event is free and open to students, faculty and forensic science professionals. Refreshments will be provided.

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