CSI forensic class taught to middle school students - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

CSI forensic class taught to middle school students

Posted: Updated:
  • More newsMore>>

  • Creeping landslide devouring part of Wyoming town

    Creeping landslide devouring part of Wyoming town

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:43 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:43:28 GMT
    A sudden lurch in a creeping landslide in the northwest Wyoming resort town of Jackson split a house in two and forced workers to abandon efforts to stabilize the hillside.More >>
    No one can say when the mountainside collapsing into this Wyoming resort town will give way. But it appears increasingly likely that when it does, it's going to take a piece of Jackson with it.More >>
  • At barricades, Ukraine insurgents await Easter

    At barricades, Ukraine insurgents await Easter

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:22 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:22:02 GMT
    Russia's foreign ministry on Saturday promised it would offer strong assistance to Ukraine to overcome its crisis, but emphasized that the ultimate responsibility for reducing tensions lies with Ukrainians...More >>
    Pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine on Saturday prepared to celebrate Orthodox Easter at barricades outside government offices seized in nearly a dozen cities, despite an international agreement to disarm and free the...More >>
  • Everest avalanche a reminder of risks Sherpas face

    Everest avalanche a reminder of risks Sherpas face

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:16 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:16:19 GMT
    The rescuers moved quickly, just minutes after the first block of ice tore loose from Mount Everest and started an avalanche that roared down the mountain, ripping through teams of guides hauling gear.More >>
    The rescuers moved quickly, just minutes after the first block of ice tore loose from Mount Everest and started an avalanche that roared down the mountain, ripping through teams of guides hauling gear.More >>
TEMPE, AZ (CBS5) -

The Valley's newest crime scene investigation team is undergoing intense training this week in Tempe.

Learning police and forensic techniques is a grueling exercise, especially when your students are only in middle school.

These new CSI proving grounds are on the campus of Gethsemane Lutheran School.

"They love it. It's one of the favorite electives they get to take," says teacher Jacob Rynes.

"They really just get into it and they love getting it all together."

"I wanna do it. I wanna get out of my comfort zone and try new things. So I signed up for it," says seventh-grader Gretchen Hoefer.

Wednesday's exercise involves a mock crime - a school bus has been burglarized and the evidence left behind has been roped off with crime scene tape.

Young detectives pour over the forensics. They are looking at a shoe print, broken glass and a hammer left at the crime scene.

"The first thing we have to do is get to the crime scene and map out what it looks like," says eighth grader Skyler Correia.

The pint-sized sleuths take photographs of the scene and attempt to collect fingerprints.

"Then we have to go in and get all the evidence, record it and give it to the lab to test it," says Skyler. "Then we have to go investigate witnesses and see what their side of the story is."

"I kind of like yelling at the teachers sometimes," says Gretchen.

One by one, the student investigators grill a group of suspects, their teachers, with interrogating questions..

"Why are you fiddling with your thumbs?" asks Gretchen to one of her teachers.

"Because I'm nervous," he responds.

"Why are you nervous?" Gretchen quickly retorts.

"Because you guys are getting in my space," replies the teacher.

The instructor believes he may have a few future investigators among his pupils.

"I think we do," Rynes quips with a smile. "We've got quite a crack team."

"I want to interview people. I want to be a detective," says Gretchen.

This class was born out of an idea Rynes had several years ago. He enlisted the help of a Chandler police officer, the parent of one of his students.

"There's all these shows with forensics and detective work, and to make that real and bring it to them, it's so much more applicable," says Rynes. "When you're a kid, you ask, 'When am I gonna use this?' Well, you're using it right now."

"It does look fun being a trace evidence investigator," says Skyler. "I've learned there's a lot of steps you have to do. There's a lot of safety procedures. Details, details, details."

Solving crimes may look simple on television dramas. However, the students here are learning it is no easy task in the real world.

"I watch a lot of detective movies and CSI TV shows," says Gretchen.

"The TV (programs) are a lot more action-oriented. And a bit more violent," says Skyler.

The students' three-day long final exam ends Friday after they submit their evidence and identify the perpetrator of the fictitious crime.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow