The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

New equipment coming to forensics

Salvador Tovar
Students during a class activity where they have to describe what happened during a crime scene and take notes about the evidence found, specifically what time it was found and what it looks like.

The chemistry through forensics class welcomed a new teacher, Salvador Tovar. Before arriving, Tovar was a sheriff in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for 14 years before retiring and has now been teaching for two years; last year he taught at Gladstone High School before accepting a position at West Covina. Tovar created a welcoming space in his class along with creating bonds with his students, which inspired him to make changes to his classes. These connections he made have been a part of the improved class experience because it inclined him into bringing in new equipment for his classes to dig deeper into the knowledge of forensics. 

Salvador Tovar with his grandmas after he graduated from the Rio Hondo Police Academy. Photo courtesy of Salvador Tovar.

“I think that with hopefully the new equipment and also with the benefit of the kids, I think that they’re really going to enjoy where the class is heading,” said Tovar. 

Some of the new equipment that Tovar hopes the school will grant him by next year is a virtual reality system that costs $47,000. With this equipment it helps students grasp an idea as to what goes on during a crime scene and the investigative process. Tovar aims to elevate the class and help make it known to more students that may not know what the class is. 

“I feel like honestly this was needed and I feel like it’s a great thing because a lot of students here really enjoy opportunities like this because certain people have different aspirations for their careers and it’s really good that this class offers those skills,” said senior Carmella Harper. 

An example of fake crime scenes Tovar sets up on block days for a class assignment on learning how to photograph and draw out a crime scene like CSI agents on Feb. 9. The photos and drawings require different angles of the scene.  (Isabel Benitez)

Besides having to learn about crimes and what goes on in the forensics world, the course also teaches important life skills. Especially when it comes to reading information and making sure to not miss important details, having patience, and also shows persistence. This class requires much effort, but instills tenacity and offers a support system.

“This class for sure has helped me to be more patient, like especially when solving cases sometimes it gets frustrating but in the end with hard work and going over the information, you get the answers you were looking for,” said junior Dario Montalvo. 

Senior Anthony Contreras takes fingerprints from a dog bowl. Fingerprint dust and a dusting brush is used, this assignment demonstrates to students the uniqueness of people’s fingerprints. (Tovar)

The new equipment that will be provided for the class next year will hopefully help students gain a realistic perspective of real world occupations and can be especially useful for careers involving criminal investigations. If you are looking for a class that will help you learn more about forensics or having a career in this area, chemistry through forensics is a class for you. 

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