CBS Television's night time drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" has been such a worldwide hit that today it airs in more than 200 countries and is viewed by an audience of nearly two billion. The four-time Emmy winning series has spawned an entire franchise including two spin-offs, a comic strip and a collection of toys and computer games.

The show's popularity has also reached Lourdes College. In fall 2007, the Department of Chemistry and Physical Sciences unveiled a new course CSI: An Introduction to Forensic Chemistry.

"We wanted to create an interdisciplinary course that would attract non-science majors," offers Dr. Cynthia Molitor, Associate Professor of Chemistry & Physics.

"With so much public interest surrounding crime scene investigation as a result of shows such as CSI, we thought forensic science would be a dynamic topic that would attract a variety of students regardless of their major."

The course introduces students to the techniques of forensic chemistry, particularly as they relate to crime scene investigation and ongoing analysis of evidence obtained after a crime has been committed.

"Students have really enjoyed learning about forensics and have particularly taken interest in the hands-on laboratory experiments," says Dr. Molitor. "They learn that there is much more behind the various analytical techniques and realize that crimes are not solved as quickly or as easily as shown during a one hour television show."