Tunink can solve more than chemistry problems

By J1 reporter Lilly McAndrews

Pen to paper. Lecture after lecture. Sitting at a desk during a hard, calculated course. This is exactly what Mrs. Stacy Tunink’s education in forensic science looked like. 

Mrs. Tunink, Honors and AP Chemistry teacher at Marian, explains her education: “I got to work with medical examiners in Denver during my process of getting a master’s.”

Forensics isn’t just used to catch the cold blooded killer. It is looking at a problem and using science to solve it. Looking into Tunink’s chemistry lab, she teaches many problems that the students are trying to solve. How did forensic science enable Tunink to teach Avogadro’s number?

“I had a focus on biochemistry and wrote a research paper during the time of my focus,” she said. 

Mrs. Stacy Tunink’s chemistry lab, room 114, source: MCL construction’s Building Blog

With a master’s in forensics and a focus on biochemistry, Tunink wrote about her findings on mitochondrial DNA in pets. She doesn’t know if her discovery is used today, but with her knowledge she is able to understand a lot more that goes on in the real world scientifically speaking. So let’s put this into perspective using an example: 

The victim’s orange juice was the last substance consumed. Or was it? 

Forensic scientists have the ability to look at that last drink and see a chemical imbalance. Oh no! The victim was poisoned with brodifacoum, or rat poison. The body contains huge amounts of the poison as well. 

Chemistry is not just used for labs in school, but it is used for solving bigger problems. The labs on metals and non-metals are the stepping stones for a life filled with chemistry. Tunink still uses what she learned from her education on forensics. “A lot of the labs that we do here at Marian have some sort of a forensic background,” she said. 

Junior Maggie Chattin talks about her passion for forensics: “I always had a fascination with Forensics, but I never knew that chemistry played such a big role in the study.”  

“I learned a lot during chemistry Sophomore year,” said Chattin. 

High School chemistry allows students to see the many possibilities throughout the future using the knowledge Tunink gives them. 

Cameras flashing. Yellow tags being placed. Time of death being said. Tunink has seen the result of the findings. Studied them. Now she happily studies the faces of her chemistry students as they get to the math portion of their tests. 

From forensics in Denver to chemistry in Omaha. Tunink has taught students the basics of chemistry that has prepared her students for the Amazon bought murder cases. Amazon bought murder cases help those that are inexperienced in forensics get a gist of what forensics entails. 

Chemistry here at Marian doesn’t just teach the basics of science, but it gives the students an idea on what science can accomplish outside of school. Science is everywhere and it isn’t always in the shape of a formula. 

So next time the glass of orange juice is the last thing consumed by the lead in the captivating thriller movie just remember that the real star is Tunink. The one able to solve mole equations and murder.   

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