Dec 19, 2011 9:50 PM by Ariel Wesler

First winter CSI camp launches in Guadalupe

The Guadalupe Dunes Center kicked off its first CSI camp today for students in fifth through ninth grades. The four-day program teaches the kids all the basics of forensic science, everything from fingerprinting to DNA analysis.

Did you know a Koala's finger prints are so similar to humans that detectives can have a tough time telling the difference? That's just one of the many facts kids are learning this week.

The Guadalupe Dunes Center has become a temporary gathering for young detectives.

"It feels like we're in a real lab, you know?" said Thomas Apel, 10.

21 kids signed up for the program. They started the day learning about the different kinds of fingerprints, then pulled their own. Of course, like good scientists, they were instructed to record everything in their lab books. Coordinators modeled the program after TV crime shows to engage the kids.

"You see the people on the TV and it makes it look so easy, but to actually do it, it's so much harder. It's so aggravating and frustrating. You need patience," said Sabra Bergner, a 9th grader.

Along with patience, coordinators say the lessons help the kids develop skills in observation, chemistry, math, and critical thinking.

But there's more to forensics than just looking through a magnifying glass, the camp teaches them how to make observations using all five of their senses, something that could end up benefiting them in any profession.

"The scientific method is all about testing. It's all about seeing the results for yourself and then being able to communicate them to others," said Kanani Fox, Operations Manager at the Guadalupe Dunes Center.

It's a chance to help them focus on their future,

I decided to try this and see if it makes me any more interested in doing this for college," said Carissa McDuffee, 14.

Whether or not they end up tracking the trail of crime.

The Dunes Center says it hopes to have a similar program in the Spring.

For more information on upcoming activities at the center, click here


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