Insider Story: A Science Teacher with a Taste for Crim
Nikki Bisesi gets up at 5:30 a.m., ready for another day of examining crime scenes. She gets her five-year-old daughter ready for kindergarten, and Nikki is at work around 7:30 a.m. to put the final touches on the lesson plan she’s prepared as a high school teacher specializing in forensic science—crime scene investigation.
Nikki also teaches AP Environmental Science, but it’s the semester-long forensics course that is her passion, integrating elements of chemistry, biology, and physics. “They learn some basic case studies, and then we do a bunch of labs where they play around and analyze the evidence,” Nikki says. “Like today, they were looking at fibers and how cotton burns differently from polyester or rayon. Or we do fingerprinting—we put fingerprints on glass and try to match them. Or we look at the physics of where a bullet came from and its trajectory.” She also has experts like police detectives, medical examiners come in to talk to the students and show them the real life beyond the lesson plans.
Forensic science has grown across high schools nationwide for about ten years, Nikki says, and more and more colleges are also offering degrees. In fact, Nikki’s own students get so enthusiastic about it that, every year, several of them end up going into some sort of forensics program in college.
After classes are done for the day, Nikki—like so many teachers—still has lots to do. She’s also the head coach of her school’s swimming and diving teams, for both boys and girls, and if there’s practice, she’s often not home until 6 p.m. Then it’s family time and bedtime for her daughter, before Nikki gets back to work grading papers and prepping for the next day of classes.
With such a busy schedule, sleep is especially important. Nikki’s Sleep Number bed, she says, “helps me to get solid sleep, which is something you really need so you can function the whole day—with kids, you have to be on all the time.” This is Nikki’s second Sleep Number bed—she got the first around 2000. She was simply searching for a better night’s sleep and she liked that she could adjust the firmness. “It gives me a good foundation for the day,” she says, so that she can get up at 5:30 a.m. and do it all again.
If you could sleep anywhere in the world, where it be? These are pretty much opposites, but either one of those ice hotels or a hut over a lagoon in Polynesia or someplace like that.
What is your Sleep Number setting? It’s usually around 35.
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