• DeBakey High School for Health Professions




    Teacher: Hongyan Li MD PhD                                                                     

    Room: 334 or 432 (Lab)


    Conference Period: B1



    I am very excited to explore the Forensic Science with you. To make it a successful experience, please review the syllabus carefully. Students and Parents/Guardians must both sign and return the last page of the syllabus to acknowledge agreement with the syllabus and its contents.

    Course description:

    This course teaches science related with crime, and applies many disciplines of science such as biology, mathematics, chemistry, physics, earth science… to solving crimes. Through a variety of lessons including hands-on activities, labs, and projects, students will learn about forensic career, crime scene investigation, laboratory technologies and experiments, as well as reasoning processes that permeate the field of science: induction, deduction, experimental design, concept formation, hypothesis testing, and so on.

    Class Rules include but are not limited to:

    1. When entering the door, your phone should be put in silent mode and kept inside of backpack or purse. You may not use phone during the class. In case of emergency, talk to me to get permission.
    2. Bring a fully charged laptop every day.
    3. Check HUB every day for announcement, assignment, instruction, and material.
    4. Please take care of any personal belongs.
    5. We rotate seats frequently. Get to know the “strangers” who you have never talked to before. Be respectful to others.
    6. Be aware of the announced oncoming events, such as quizzes and tests, so that you can be better prepared.

    Penalties for not following rules:

    First Offense: Verbal warning. 

    Second Offense: Personal conference with the teacher; contact parents.

    Third Offense: Detention; complete an action plan; conduct cut, parent/student/teacher conference.

    Fourth Offense: Referral to the assistant principal

    Supplies (prepared by students, and bring to school no later than the 2nd week. Let me know if you need help)

    • A charged laptop.
    • One 3-ring binder.
    • Binder paper which fit into the binder 
    • Inside of the binder, you will have your own notes and handouts from me. Be sure to keep them organized so that you can use them before quizzes and tests.

    Grading Policy: 

    Tests and Projects 50%
    Labs and Quizzes 40%
    Class assignment and Homework 10%

    Detailed instruction about grading:

    1. Tests and projects

    There will be one test after each Unit, and one project per cycle (one cycle has about 6 weeks). They are worth 50% of the grade.

    Students will be given adequate notice that a test will take place. Therefore, students should manage their time wisely to prevent the need for excessive study the night before a test or a project due date.

    Tests cannot be taken outside of the classroom. Phones are ABSOLUTELY PROHIBITED during test and quiz.

    Projects normally takes more than one week to complete. Rubric and due date are announced when the project is assigned. Some class time will be provided. In a group project, every student is required to participate. If presentation needs to be done as a group, every student must talk.

    1. Laboratory activity and quizzes

    There will be several quizzes and laboratory activities per cycle.  They are worth 40% of the grade.

    Safety is the top priority. Every student must strictly follow lab safety rules. In each lab, students are required to read and understand the lab procedure.

    Lab reports are to be independently written. Only the data may be shared among group members. Nothing else in the report should be shared among group members. Lab reports should not be plagiarized! If found to be plagiarized, the assignment will receive “zero” for the lab grade, and the students (both the student copied from and the student who copied) will be referred to the Dean’s Office for plagiarism.

    Quizzes will be announced in advance or not. Again, phones are ABSOLUTELY PROHIBITED during test and quiz.

    1. Class assignments are worth 10% of the grade, and include, but are not limited to:
    • Notes taken in-class
    • Miscellaneous daily assignments meant to review in-class learning
    • Lab and project participation

    Homework is also worth 10% of the grade and designed to help you learn the material. Ask questions to clarify any difficulties discovered doing the homework.


    If you fail a mid-cycle test (less than 70%), you do have an opportunity to retake a similar test. The re-take regularly happens in the following week. Make a reservation with . It is strongly advised that you arrange to attend tutorial session before retaking the test. The retake must be scheduled outside the regular class time.

    The Re-take grade will be the average of the two scores: the original one and the retake one. If the average is higher than 70, the grade will default to a 70. The highest grade a student can receive is a 70.

    Late work:

    • If you turn in the assignment after the due time, your assignment is LATE. For example, the homework is due before class today. Students should turn in their homework at the beginning of the class. If you turn it in during or after the class, your assignment is LATE.
    • If the assignment is turned in one class period late, it will receive a maximum score of 70. To continue with the last example, your homework assignment is submitted after the due time, but before the beginning of the next class. Your highest score will be 70.
    • However, if your homework assignment is turned in two class periods late, it will only receive a maximum score of 50. No late work will be accepted beyond that time and the assignment will be marked as a zero.


    • If the student has been absent, it is the student's responsibility to take to me about the missing work and the due time.  



    • If the assignment must be submitted online, it is highly recommended to make the submission ahead of the due time, in case of the possibility of some unexpected issues with computer or WIFI.
    • Extended deadline is not permitted on the due date.
    • If you have important events interacting with the due date, make sure you talk to me before the due date.

    Academic Dishonesty:

    Please assume all works are to be your individual work unless informed otherwise. Academic dishonesty takes many forms and can sometimes be confusing for students and parents.  Some forms of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to: Plagiarism, falsification of data, providing false information to an instructor including excuses for late work or falsely claiming to have submitted work, any form of cheating in which a student has an unfair advantage on an assessment by using notes or other materials not allowed by the instructor, providing unauthorized assistance or information to others on homework, projects, tests, quizzes, etc., intentionally preventing other students from completing their work, impersonating another student to give them unauthorized assistance.  This is not a comprehensive list and teacher and administrator discretion will ultimately decide whether a student has committed an offense. Only lab data may be shared. Copying any other work is plagiarism! A “zero” given for academic dishonesty cannot be redone or retaken. Academic dishonesty will be reported to the administration and action will be taken according to the school’s policy.


    I am available for classroom tutoring after school Monday through Thursday. Please reserve your spot in advance. 

    If your parent would like to discuss about your progress or ask some questions, please send out your request for conference by emailing me at hli1@houstonisd.org. I am available  will be more than happy to arrange the time and talk with you.

    Fire Alarm/Fire drill:

    At the sound of a fire alarm, students should quickly walk out of the classroom in a single-file line. We will take stair D and our destination is the Pressler St sidewalk near DeBakey building.  You should quickly respond while I am checking the roster and calling your name. Any students fail to follow these directions will receive a conduct cut.


    During the entire year, we will cover:

    Fall Semester 2019

    Unit 1:

    Lab Safety Training

    Chapter 1 Observation Skills

    Chapter 2 Crime-Scene Investigation and Evidence Collection

    Unit 2:

    Chapter 3 Hair Analysis

    Chapter 4 A Study of Fibers and Textiles

    Chapter 6 Fingerprints

    Unit 3:

    Chapter 7 DNA Profiling

    Chapter 8 Blood and Blood Spatter

    Spring Semester 2020

    Unit 4:

    Chapter 9 Forensic Toxicology

    Chapter 10 Handwriting Analysis, Forgery, and Counterfeiting

    Chapter 11 Forensic Entomology

    Unit 5:

    Chapter 12 Death: Meaning, Manner, Mechanism, Cause, and Time

    Chapter 14 Forensic Anthropology

    Unit 6:

    Chapter 16 Casts and Impressions

    Chapter 18 Firearm and Ballistics

     Note: This syllabus may change due to unforeseen circumstances. If there is any change, students and parents will be noticed in advance.