09 July 2018
The Application of Biotechnology in Forensics Introduced to the 2018 High School Summer Program Participants
Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH) held the High School Summer Program to introduce the study programs available in UPH to high school students. This event is held on Wednesday, July 4th, to Friday, July 6th, 2018
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UPH Biotechnology Students Explain the Case Study Needed to be Solved by the Participants in the CSI Workshop
 

Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH) held the High School Summer Program to introduce the study programs available in UPH to high school students. This event is held on Wednesday, July 4th, to Friday, July 6th, 2018. This event is geared towards high school students in the 10th-12th grade to give them a taste of university life and the study programs that they are interested in. This event also aims to facilitate participants to experience a working environment through the company visit on the last day of the Summer Program.

 

 

 

This event is attended by 29 high school students from Bandung, Semarang, Surabaya, and Tangerang. When applying, the participants have to choose one of three major clusters that they want to study – the science, social, or art cluster. Out of the 29 students, 11 participated in the science cluster, 10 in the social cluster, and 8 choose to study in the art cluster. This program also boasts a camp for those who want to stay in UPH during the course of the program.

 

 

The program started with an opening held in room D503. Then, LOs are assigned according to each participant’s cluster. On the first-day workshop, the 11 students in the Science cluster attend the CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) workshop, where they have to solve a murder case using skills learned in biotechnology.

 

 

“We hold the CSI to let the students experience the study of applied biology in forensic science, and to introduce them to biotechnological applications in general, like familiarizing them with lab equipment,” explained Irsan Azhar Tastari, UPH Biotechnology 2016 student, head of the CSI workshop.

 

CSI is a really unique and intriguing workshop. First, the participants are divided into 5 groups with 1 mentor in each group. They are then shown a crime scene, along with the body of the victim still lying on the scene.

 

 

One of the exciting factor on-site is that the committee, biotechnology students, are able to transform their classroom into a crime scene that really seems real – with a victim bathed in blood and other evidence, like knives and bottles, scattered around the room. After seeing the crime scene and victim, the participants are asked to do a fingerprint physical test using white powder and also a fingerprint chemical test, which uses Lugol’s iodine, through the process of Iodine fuming. They then also did a Luminol Test to track down any bloodstains. Participants can not only observe these tests – they are also able to demonstrate their skills and do the tests themselves. The committee has prepared all the materials needed for each participant – gloves, cups, powder, and other materials.

 

 

After going through these three tests, the committee proceeds with providing the investigators with the chronology of the murder – starting from a day before the murder up to when the body was found. The committee provided a list of 8 suspects along with their biographies for the participants to investigate. After taking in all the information available, the participants and their mentors proceed to interrogate the 8 suspects. They are also instructed to take fingerprint samples of the suspects. With help from their mentors, the participants scour the UPH campus to look for the 8 suspects and try to gather any bit of information. All groups should be able to decide on one perpetrator within two hours of investigation. In addition, they also have to agree on the motive of the suspect.

 

 

In the next session, participants are introduced to the Cell Test (Buccal Swap) as one of the ways to identify DNA through a person’s cells. Participants learn about the DNA and how to extract it through the process of Variable Number Tandem Repeat, VNTR-PCR, Gel Electrophoresis, and how to look for the DNA band that matches available evidence. They also did the Kastle Meyer Test to analyze blood left on evidence.

 

 

After doing all these tests, the perpetrator is finally caught. The group that succeeds in guessing the perpetrator, along with his motives, gets a prize in recognition of their hard work.

 

 

The participants are highly enthusiastic throughout the workshop and learned a lot of new things.

“It’s tiring but really exciting. We learned how to solve a criminal case and we also learn that DNA can be a really valuable and crucial evidence.” Olivieara Priscilla, an eleventh grader from Cahaya Bangsa School Bandung, quipped.

 

 

“I learn to not give up when faced with different situations, and I also learn that there can be a lot of ways to solve a problem.” declared Raynard Elleazar, a tenth grader from Cahaya Bangsa School Bandung.

 

 

Dr. Reinhard Pinontoan, Head of the Biotechnology study program in UPH, leads the next session – an introduction to biotechnology and its use in everyday life, including in forensics, like what they have experienced during CSI. The knowledge gained through studying biotechnology can be applied in different ways in life – to identify a body, early cancer detection through DNA, DNA analysis to track down family trees, stem cells, genetic engineering, and vaccine-producing microbes. Dr. Reinhard also shared how biotechnology contributes to humans’ wellbeing and is an enjoyable subject to study.

 
 
IMG_7751.jpgThe High School Students in the Science Cluster Listen to UPH Biotechnology Students in the CSI Workshop
 
 
 
 
UPH Media Relations