Excerpts from Ocean Star article published May 2011:
Doug Houser has been a science teacher for over 22 years. In 2001, Doug Houser joined Brick Memorial High School as a general science and biology teacher. Doug is still teaching at Brick Memorial in Brick, NJ and loves it.
“Helping kids find a direction and a motivation to do something and find their interests is the best part.”
However in 2004, tragedy hit the Brick Memorial community as one of Mr. Houser’s former students, Brittany Gregory, was murdered.
“She was very friendly to me personally; she was one of the brightest students I’ve ever taught.”
Mr. Houser promised Brittany’s parents that he would do something to preserve her memory, and in 2008, he did, by founding the forensic science program at Brick Memorial.
After engaging students at the high school level in how to solve and prevent crimes, Doug realized that it was just as important to teach younger children about these issues. He then started the CSI and Forensic Science summer camp. Kids would analyze hair, blood spatter, footprints and even explore simulated crime scenes. “As a teacher it’s exciting to see them discover something new and get passionate about it, ” Mr. Houser said.
Today, the camp has grown into 3 levels, and offers even more advanced programs such as DNA fingerprinting, burial site excavation, handwriting analysis, and ballistics.
The class and camps Doug has started have given many students the desire and opportunity to pursue a career in forensics and police work. In fact, several former students are working in the field of forensics or law enforcement currently.
It is in this way that Doug hopes he has helped preserve Brittany’s memory. “She told me she aspired to be a forensic scientist, but she was never able to fulfill her aspirations,” Doug said. “However, because of [the forensic science class and CSI camp], maybe a lot of kids will find that it’s something they want to do.”