MTSU’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education, or FIRE, just wrapped up its 2017 CSI:MTSU summer camp, where high schoolers get an exciting, hands-on experience in forensic science. University videographer Sarah Mustian spent time with the campers and staff to learn more about the annual event.
CSI:MTSU is a four-day program designed for students entering the ninth grade through college freshmen. The cost is $250 per participant, which includes all camp activities, labs, lunch and snacks, and a T-shirt. It allows students to explore unique career possibilities in forensic science, provides a “real life” reason to tackle higher-level math and science courses, and develops skills in team work, seeing and understanding details, critical thinking and presentations.
The student investigators are presented with a re-creation of an actual crime scene. They are divided into several teams, and a forensic professional directs and coaches the students as they use math and science to solve the crime.
Each student is trained in the fundamental processes of collecting evidence, including DNA, fingerprints, hair and fibers, simulated blood spatter, and shoe prints. They also learn how to process the evidence, conduct interviews and formulate theories while working within a team environment.
During the last afternoon of the camp, teams make a presentation detailing their theories of the crime and the conclusions they reached. A panel of forensic scientists critique their team conclusions .
For more information about FIRE, visit www.mtsu.edu/fire.