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Rockwood PIE Project Interface Seniors Work in Forensics this Summer

Eureka High students Liliana Hayes and Alyce Koch and Rockwood Summit High's Julianna Cotter pose with their final presentation.
Eureka High students Alyce Koch and Liliana Hayes and Rockwood Summit High’s Julianna Cotter worked in the forensic science department at Maryville University this summer. They worked under the guidance of Tom Spudich, an associate professor of chemistry and forensic science. Spudich conducts research for the university on various projects. 

The students are part of the Rockwood Partners in Education​ (PIE) program known as Project Interface. Project Interface is a unique and valuable opportunity for qualified Rockwood seniors to intern in a specific career area. They recognize it as a chance to help them figure out what they want to pursue as a career.

Koch said, “It was very eye-opening to see all the different paths you can go down with a forensic science degree.”

Hayes and Cotter agreed, adding how it helped them narrow down a decision on which specific path of forensic science they want to pursue.

The students say they were provided with an abundance of resources. They were given access to a forensics lab and iPads and allowed to utilize the libraries at Maryville and Washington universities. 

“I benefited from learning how the students’ thinking changes as they grew from this experience,” said Spudich.

Rockwood PIE Coordinator Emanuel Young said, “Project Interface helps give students early exposure so they can make informed decisions about what they will study in college.”

“I enjoyed talking to all the people we got to interview, such as the forensic scientists at a crime lab,” Hayes said.

The students agreed that their Project Interface internships provided a college-like experience.

--by Raina Kabra, Rockwood Communications student intern