Forensics 2 Conducts Gallery Walk of Serial Boxes

Forensics 2 Conducts Gallery Walk of “Serial” Boxes

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX—Flour Bluff High School is lucky enough to have heaps of creative and interesting science electives. Some examples include Earth and Space Science, AP Biology, AP Environmental Systems, Environmental Science, Aquatic Science and Physics II. One of the more popular electives last year was Forensic Sciences. After seeing so many people enjoy Forensics 1, teacher Brandi Venable decided to attempt to get a Forensics 2 course added to Flour Bluff’s curriculum. When she was successful, it led to a 4th period, senior-only class.

The students have studied the crime scene, arson and, most recently, forensic psychology.

“This is by far one of the most requested topics students ask for and I believe it’s because of the true crime craze, from podcasts to books, to docuseries and so on. Students are always interested in serial killers and it’s not something we really have the opportunity to discuss in Forensics 1.  We spent time researching criminal profile typologies and we even profiled fake serial killers that I had chatGPT create (AI for the win) before we started this project,” said Forensics 1 and 2 teacher Brandi Venable.

As part of their forensic psychology unit, Venable had the students pair into groups of two and study a serial killer of their choosing. They were then to create a cereal box based on their serial killer and a Spotify playlist to describe their lives.

“Overall, the project was super fun. I enjoyed the fun twist and new angle we took on it. I do feel like I took the project very seriously. This class is something I have fun with and I always have enjoyed the class and I feel like I never want to disappoint. I learned a lot: some quite disturbing things and also some interesting things about how twisted and cruel some people can be to others. My favorite part of the project was probably making the design of the box. I have always found it fun to make new things and add my unique twist to the project,” said senior Liam Hutchinson.

A lot of controversy followed the project as the question of whether or not the project could be considered to be glorifying serial killers. 

“As with any controversial topic, it is really hard to appease everyone.  I knew this going into the project and I was really hesitant to do so.  Serial killers are not something to be glorified and that was a big fear I had with presenting the research on the boxes like we did.  To be humorous is one thing, but to glorify them is a whole other thing and that was NOT the goal of this project.  The goal was to research the killer and their motives for killing.  The actions of serial killers are horrific and many lives were lost to their selfish actions.  But, also, it is important to note that by researching the actions of these killers, law enforcement agencies have been able to create criminal profile typologies with the hopes of being able to catch future killers and to better understand their motives before the lives of more victims are lost,” said Venable. 

After projects were turned in, students took a gallery walk of all of the cereal boxes while a compilation of their Spotify playlists was played in the background.

“On the last day students did a gallery walk where they visited each students project.  The goal was not to determine who had a better project or who could have done this or that better, but to review the information presented on the box.  Students were asked to write down 3 interesting facts about each killer.  By doing this, each student had an opportunity to learn about other serial killers with out having to do all the research.  What I loved about the gallery walk was that not one student “rushed” through the assignment.  We pretty much worked from bell to bell visiting each project, reading over them, and gathering information,” said Venable.

Overall, students enjoyed the unique and engaging twist that Venable put on her unit and in turn, a productive environment was encouraged,

“I really enjoyed the project! It was a creative way for us to learn about different serial killers from our own, and other people’s, research. I learnt a lot about what each serial  killer did as well as their consequences. My favorite part was the playlist; it was cool to hear all the different songs people had chosen while we did the gallery walk, especially because everyone’s music taste is different,” said senior Ari Gerbert.

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About the Contributor
Isabella Skinner, Editor-in-Chief
Isabella Skinner is a senior at Flour Bluff High School. She is the Editor-in-Chief and it is her third year in the program. She is in ROTC and frequently goes to competitions with them. She is in the Spanish Honor Society and dances for the Corpus Christi Ballet. Her favorite color is pink and she enjoys reading and writing. She plans to attend Texas State University or Texas A&M after graduation.