CSI Boys Summer Camp – Day 4

Our gumshoes made significant strides on day 4. First, campers witnessed a compelling presentation by Special Agent David Marshall with the world-renowned FBI.

DSC_2463Special Agent Marshall gave campers the inside scoop about what FBI agents do on a daily basis,

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and how they too could pursue a career with this high-profile organization.

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Campers (and staff) had a lot of fun during this presentation, but you know what they say: All good things must come to an end.

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After getting jazzed about a potential future with the FBI, campers got straight to work processing some more evidence that was found at Monday’s crime scene. Our investigators were able to further narrow their list of suspect based on a soil sample found at the crime scene and a note written by the perpetrator.

It was suspected that the soil sample found at the scene came from the bottom of the perpetrator’s shoe. To find out how this piece of evidence could help the investigation, campers compared this sample with samples of the soil found at the different places that each suspect had been that day.

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After looking closely at each sample,

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investigators were able to determine where the soil sample came from. Then, armed with this information, they were able to make a determination about who they could eliminate from the suspect list.
DSC_2572The next piece of evidence they processed was the note written by the perpetrator. How did they do this? Through a paper chromatography experiment. Since each suspect on the suspect list was found carrying a different type of marker, campers were able to determine which type of marker wrote the note found at the scene

DSC_2799by seeing how differently the pigments in each marker separate when exposed to a solvent. In this case, the solvent was water.

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While the morning was all about processing evidence and narrowing the list of suspects, campers returned to the wonderful world of DNA in the afternoon. Campers were first greeted by an after-lunch presentation by Dr. Teresa Strecker with SMU’s biology department. Dr. Strecker took some of the mystery out of DNA

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and discussed why DNA can be so helpful in crime scene investigation.

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Then, campers got to try their hand at DNA eletrophoresis. DNA electrophoresis is a technique used by forensic scientists where they compare DNA samples found at a crime scene with the DNA of suspects in a case.

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Only one more day until all is revealed and this case is solved. Stay tuned for the gripping conclusion to this year’s CSI Boys Summer Camp!

 

 

 

 

Teacher Workshop Day 2

The second and final day of our CSI Teacher Workshop was a huge success. We kicked the day off with a focus on law enforcement careers, as Special Agent Ron Goates, NCIS, and Special Agent David Marshall, FBI, joined our teachers for a panel discussion.

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SA Ron Goates (left) and SA David Marshall (right)

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Participant Pamela Gantt-Lee and SA Goates

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Participants take time to pose with SA Goates

These law enforcement officials revealed the diversity of the skill sets needed in their respective organizations and gave teachers practical information about how students can go about pursuing these careers. “It’s a world we don’t get to see on a daily basis,” explained participant Gavin Eastep, and participant Elizabeth Lattier was happy to find out that kids can bring such a wide variety of skillsets to these organizations.

Teachers then broke out into groups to continue yesterday’s exploration of subjects such as biometrics, change blindness, and soil analysis,

Hand geometry - one of the biometrics activities

Hand geometry – one of the biometrics activities

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Mentor Jennifer Makins discusses change blindness.

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Soil analysis activity

before turning their focus to DNA. A DNA extraction activity kicked off our two-part DNA segment, allowing teachers to learn first-hand how to extract DNA from a strawberry.

Like our campers, they smashed,

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strained,

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and took home their own sample of DNA.

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Teachers then came together for a presentation on DNA electrophoresis. During this presentation, participants learned explored genetics, and learned how to conduct their own DNA electrophoresis experiment with their students.

DNA electrophoresis presentation

DNA electrophoresis presentation

After giving participants hands-on experience with some of our CSI activities, we decided to try something new. Participants spent the final session in groups applying their new CSI knowledge to create project-based units of their own. Teachers were paired with other teachers from their grade level and came up with wonderful ideas for how to incorporate CSI into their own classrooms.

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During this session our teachers came up with a wide variety of wonderful ideas for CSI units at all grade levels. Stay tuned to read all of these wonderful ideas and adapt them for use in your classroom!