Through funding provided by a City Council grant, the new classroom was officially launched last Thursday at the Law and Government High School at the Campus Magnet School with a ribbon- cutting ceremony. In a fitting gesture, yellow police tape was used in lieu of the more traditional red ribbon.The classroom, which will host two forensic labs a day, has been in the works for more than two years when the grants were first sought and awarded through the help of retired St. Albans City Councilman Archie Spigner, who was at the school to cut the tape."Forensics seems to be the wave of the future," said Spigner. "It's good to come back and see something fully developed."Teaching the new classes will be Barbara Giamundo, who according to her co-workers, has been wanting to retire for the last eight years."I'm not retiring until I get to teach a year in this room," replied Giamundo, who has already instructed forensic classes in the room this year. "This is better than I envisioned.""There is a lot of hands-on stuff," said Jeanie Martin, a 17-year-old junior who is enrolled in the class. "You get to make your own footprint or fingerprint."The footprints that Martin spoke of were on display on the classroom's new acid-proof tables and were made of plaster casts from the students' own shoe prints. She explained how they are used to see what kind of shoe someone was wearing when the prints are left behind at a crime scene.Giamundo will have an arsenal of new tools and technologies at her fingertips in the classroom, including two new computers, an explosion-proof refrigerator for storing chemicals, a ventilation hood and a host of tools for gathering evidence at simulated crime scenes.Giamundo admitted that a few of the new tools, some of which have yet to arrive, will take her some time to master, but she is ready for the challenge."I have some friends who are going to help me learn," said Giamundo, who said she has been working with members of the NYPD crime lab in Jamaica to have the classroom be as close to the real thing as possible. "There is a lot of state-of-the-art materials."Reach reporter Peter A. Sutters Jr. by e-mail at news@times
©2005 Community News Group
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