A Week in AFP Forensic Science: Year 11 Workplace Learning

A Week in AFP Forensic Science: Year 11 Workplace Learning

Year 11 student Tegan Du Ross recently embarked on a unique Workplace Learning placement in Canberra as part of the Australian Federal Police Forensic Work Experience Program. 

The program is highly sought after and Tegan was one of only 13 students across Australia (out of 1300 applicants) selected to participate! 

The program gives students in Years 10 to 12 an insight into a forensic science career with the AFP, exploring crime scene examinations, fingerprint examinations, digital forensics, facial identification and firearm examinations. 

We asked Tegan to tell us about this fantastic experience: 

What made you want to apply for the AFP Forensics Work Experience Program? 

The program stated that it was for students who wanted to pursue a career in STEM and particularly forensic science. I am currently completing a Cert III in Cyber Security and needed a program that explored the world of digital forensics (fingerprint databases, facial identification) as it benefited my future career. 

The program itself seemed exciting and intriguing to me. I have always enjoyed forensic science, although I didn’t imagine ever working in that environment. Yet, I wanted to challenge myself by participating in a program like this to experience what it would be like. 

I had to apply for the position myself and had the support of Mr Pollock and my family. Over 1,300 people applied ranging from Year 10’s to Year 12’s from all across Australia. However, only 13 people were selected.

What was the highlight of your week? 

The highlight of my week was participating in Mock Crime Scene Examinations. Crime scene examinations were new to me and to be able to get involved in it was amazing.

The 13 students were placed into groups of three. They took turns writing notes, packaging evidence, taking photos of the crime scene/evidence, swabbing for DNA using wet and dry swabs, using UV lights for suspicious markings and using magnetic powder to reveal unknown fingerprints.

Overall, it was fun to explore the steps taken in crime scene examinations.

How did you find the experience overall? 

It was great! The students enlisted in the program were friendly and chill, always listening to what others had to say. I felt included in the group of students and felt heard when collaborating on ideas. 

Each day I was eager to get out and see what the program had in store for me. The program itself was one of a kind and was very informative.

I would highly recommend any young people who are interested in STEM to apply.

Tegan was also interviewed for a WIN News Canberra story about her experience in the program.