CSI Day Camp Takes Colorado Springs by Storm!

Last week our team traveled to the beautiful city of Colorado Springs for our 4th CSI Camp-for-a-Day. Ok, you may be thinking “4th? But this is the first I’m hearing of them!” So allow us to back up.

Our CSI Summer Camp program has been one of our largest STEM programs for the past three years. Seeing as how these camps only take place in the Dallas area, we thought it would be a great idea to condense the program and travel the country with a series of day camps. So, after a pilot program fielded in Killeen, Texas in 2012, we packed up our camp materials and brought our CSI day camps to a number of military communities around the country in 2013.

During our CSI Camps-for-a-Day, our campers are able to gain hands-on experience with the STEM behind crime scene investigation. While a one-day time frame isn’t quite enough to sneak in all the activities from our summer camps, campers are still able to gain CSI skills in order to solve a mock crime. By teaching fingerprint dusting and sensor, paper chromatography, and face recognition analysis, these camps help students around the country gain a first-hand introduction to our project and STEM-based CSI curriculum and gain an introduction to CSI careers.

So, now back to Colorado Springs. This event took place at the wonderful Falcon Middle School, and included roughly 90 sixth and seventh grade students and 6 teachers. These sixth and seventh grade students moved through a crime scene investigation activity,fingerprint dusting and sensor activity, paper chromatography activity, and a facial recognition activity. Students then applied these skills to fit all the pieces together and determine the identity of our perpetrator!

Fingerprint Dusting activity

Fingerprint Dusting activity

Paper Chromatography Activity

Paper Chromatography activity

Additionally, campers had the opportunity to interact with local law enforcement and military professionals. The camp started off with a presentation Officer Wes Woodworth from the Colorado Springs Police Department and Rachel Brown, an Explorer from the CSPD’s Explorer Program. These two presenters introduced campers to the skills and tools crime scene professionals use in their investigations. After the presentation, these two split up, as Rachel led the fingerprint dusting activity, and Officer Woodworth took campers on a tour of his police car.

Officer Woodworth and Rachel Brown

Officer Woodworth and Rachel Brown

Rachel Brown leads Fingerprint Dusting activity

Rachel Brown leads fingerprint dusting activity

Campers check out the police car

Campers check out the police car

Woodworth and Brown

Woodworth and Brown

Campers were also treated to a presentation by the Ft. Carson K-9 unit. These professionals introduced campers to a few of their wonderful working dogs and to the duties these dogs carry out.

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DSC_0331 - Version 2

This camp was such a huge success, and we are wonderfully grateful to all who attended. Everyone was extremely engaged, from the students, teachers, and administrators at Falcon Middle School, to the wonderful guests from the Colorado Springs Police Department and Ft. Carson.

Falcon Middle School teachers and principal (middle)

Falcon Middle School principal (middle) and teachers

But don’t just take it from us, check out this great article about the event and this wonderful video, which was put together by District 49 media.

And just in case we made you terribly sad that you couldn’t personally attend this event, you can still participate in solving this crime through our “Closing the Case” scavenger hunt!


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