Curriculum

**Please note that CSI is on hiatus for Summer 2017 and will return in Summer 2018**

CSI Curriculum

This Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) camp will teach students about the science and techniques used in the investigation of crimes. The camp is designed to challenge students and provide them with the real world experience of a forensic scientist. The instructors of the CSI camp are experts in the field and will provide students with a general overview of many of the fields of forensic science as well as practical hands-on experiences. Students will hone their observation, creativity, and intellectual skills, while also enjoying an exciting and adventurous week, working side-by-side with forensic experts.

Participants will be introduced to the knowledge and skills required to process crime scenes, while learning how science is used to analyze evidence in crime labs.

While at camp, students will:

  • Document and collect evidence from a crime scene, including sketching, photographing, and maintaining proper documentation of the evidence.
  • Receive hands-on training in how to process and analyze the main types of evidence encountered in forensic laboratories, including controlled substances, blood, DNA, latent prints, firearms and ballistics, trace evidence. Through the analysis of mini crime scenes, students will appreciate that in the real world all of these subdisciplines collaborate to ultimately solve a crime.
  • Be introduced to other forensic science disciplines, including art, anthropology, entomology, and pathology. Again, students will be given hands-on training in these disciplines from experts in the field.
  • Process a mock crime scene under the supervision of forensic experts. Students will work in teams to collect the evidence at the scene. All of the evidence from that scene will be processed by the students over the course of the week. Students will work together to recreate the crime scene in order to identify a suspect.
  • Present their final evidence and analytical results to the parents on the last day of camp.
  • Learn about the various opportunities available for careers in forensic science as well as the education required for those careers.

Academic Focus

Students will learn how forensic scientists collect evidence from crime scenes, analyze the evidence in the laboratory, draw conclusions from their analyses, and then ultimately present their findings. Students will work in the university laboratories and be assigned a mock crime scene in one of the residence halls. They will use the practical experience that they gain during the week to analyze evidence from their scene. The students will present some of the evidence from their scene during a presentation for the parents on Saturday morning.

Each day, educational presentations will be given by forensic experts from various disciplines. Hands-on practical exercises will accompany many of the presentations. Throughout the week, students will also learn academic requirements and career pathways for forensics scientists by speaking with forensic experts in an informal setting.

Some highlights of previous practical exercises include systematically digging and sifting the dirt for evidence and remains at a mock burial site; a shooting reconstruction using projection rods and a laser light to determine the direction of the shots; dissection of a pig with a forensic pathologist to demonstrate an autopsy; lab analysis of glass, fibers, and hair; casting of shoe and tire impressions; blood spatter determination; and fingerprinting.

Professional Instructors

We are very fortunate that the professional forensic community values our young students and future forensic scientists and researchers. Past instructors have included professors from Michigan State University, professional private forensic lab experts, forensic consultants, researchers and educators, and a pathology expert. We also have four to six student assistants who will work with the students each day. The student assistants are graduate students in the Master of Science in Forensic Science at MSU. We have a vast array of expertise and experience to introduce the subdisciplines of forensic science to the students