CSI Boys Camp – Day 3

The CSI saga continued on day 3, and the human body was the name of the game. First, were visited by Medical Examiner Amy Gruzeski, who gave campers a first-hand look at the role forensic pathologists play during investigations. What is a forensic pathologist? These are the people who conduct the examinations that determine the cause of a person’s death. This presentation did include some “gross pictures” according to camper Drake,

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but campers also “liked learning about the medical examiner’s job.”

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Then, campers took their understanding about the human body a step further in the forensic anthropology activity and gait recognition activity. During the forensic anthropology activity, campers learned that you can predict someone’s height based just on the length of his or her leg bone.

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Campers also learned how investigators can differentiate between people based on the way they walk during the gait recognition activity.

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From there, it was on to DNA, as campers learned how all living things, including fruits and vegetables, contain DNA. In this experiment, campers learned how to extract DNA from a strawberry by mashing it,

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combining it with a solution,

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and extracting the separated DNA using a highly scientific instrument—a paperclip.

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Campers ended their day learning fact from fiction when it comes to the world of an NCIS agent. Special Agent Don Goates visited our investigators-in-training to dispel the myths about what it means to work for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

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Stay tuned for more tales from our CSI summer camp!

 

CSI Girls Camp – Day 3

Our CSI camps were still going strong yesterday as our gumshoes worked through a number of new CSI activities. And the name of the game for Day 3: the human body. First, campers were treated to a presentation by Medical Examiner Dr. Sheila Spotswood, who gave our girls a glimpse into a day in the life of a medical examiner.

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After being acquainted with this new profession, campers learned how a person’s body, and even the way they move, can reveal a ton of information about them in the Forensic Anthropology and Gait Recognition activities.

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Then, after grabbing a quick bit to eat, campers moved into an in-depth DNA exercise: the DNA Electrophoresis Lab. 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. Scientists are able to use restriction enzymes (protein “scissors”) that cut a piece of DNA at specific points in the sequence. Because everyone’s DNA sequence is different (unless you have an identical twin), the pieces of DNA that are cut will be different lengths.

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Lastly, the girls concluded their day by getting insight into the day in the life of an NCIS agent from Special Agent Don Goates.

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After their third day of camp, these students have gained a number of CSI skills. Yet there’s still much more to come, so stay tuned to find out what Day 4 had in store for these investigators-in-training!