National Science Week 2022: AFP opens search for next generation of forensic scientists

The AFP will open the doors of its specialist forensic facility in Canberra to high school students with an interest in STEM subjects.

Registrations of interest for the AFP’s 2023 Forensic Work Experience program open at the commencement of the school year (visit the Forensic Work Experience website for details on registering for the 2023 AFP Forensics WEX Program) with limited places available for the two courses in March and September.

The AFP’s forensic work experience (WEX) program is designed to give high school students an understanding of what a career in forensics involves, and the opportunity to engage with AFP members working in contemporary forensic roles.

Inspiring future forensic scientists is a responsibility Brett Scott takes very seriously. As the Acting Coordinator Capability and Enabling in charge of the WEX program, we hope to nurture their interest and help develop it into a lifelong career.

“Many current forensic specialists can pinpoint a specific moment, or their love of a particular television show, as the moment they decided that a career in forensic science was for them,” Mr Scott said.

The program is open to high school students in years 10 to12 who have demonstrated an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Run at the AFP’s Forensics Facility in Canberra, participants will hone their skills in practical workshops including biology, fingerprints and crime scenes. At the end of the week-long program participants will be put through their paces in mock court room trials.

In addition to the WEX program, AFP forensic scientists are running a series of one-day virtual seminars titled “A sneak peek into AFP Forensics”, which are open to all WEX eligible applicants.

From fingerprint and facial identification to firearms identification and armoury, the seminars are designed to give students a teaser into what a career in forensic science looks like and hear from current AFP forensic scientists.

Interested parties can register their interest via this online form.

Mr Scott said they hoped to encourage the future generation of forensic scientists and see that a career in STEM can be a fun, fulfilling and rewarding way of serving our communities.

“It is incredibly rewarding to see our participants take their passion for forensic science to the next level, to work amongst like-minded peers and learn that this career is a very real possibility.”

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