The aim of this research is to complete development and evaluation of a
series of digitally-based forensic science education mysteries. These
mystery case studies are designed for adolescents aged 15-18 years, and
focus on forensic science, avoidance of cancer risks, and the scientific
method. The full motion, video-based, interactive multimedia product will
allow users to assume the role of a medical examiner whose job it is to
examine one or more deaths per case by collecting and examining on-site
evidence, interactive questioning of suspects and witnesses, and
conducting interactive post mortem examinations. Users will progress
upward through increasingly difficult cases by applying knowledge
gained in earlier investigations. The goal of this program is to: 1)
educate users about forensic science and cancer risk; 2) allow users to
apply new knowledge to their own cancer risk behaviors, 3) improve
users' skills in the application of scientific methods, and 4) generate
user interest in science as a career. Focus group discussions will be
used to measure process outcomes, and survey questionnaires will
measure knowledge, attitude, and skill change outcomes by comparing
treatment and comparison conditions. A report and dissemination plan
will complete this phase. The finished product will be state of-the-art
PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: By 1999 there should be about
161 million installed CD-ROM drives, mostly in North America and the
English speaking world. PC software should see sales rise at least 20%
through 1997, and since sales, as well as size and speed of school and
home-use multimedia PCS continues to rise, the consumer market is
particularly attractive. Forecasts indicate that the children's education
and entertainment CD-ROM market is expected to grow to $1.6 billion by
1999. Beyond that point, digitally-based on-line distribution is a
possibility. On-line marketing in 1996 is generating about $500 million
annually; by 2000 that number may reach $6.6 billion.
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