Kansas City High School Students Introduced to Forensic Science in CSI: KC Program
An innovative new program is teaching Kansas City’s urban core high school students about forensic science careers. The Kansas City Missouri Police Department and the City of Kansas City, Missouri, in collaboration with the team that is designing and building the new Leon Mercer Jordan Campus East Patrol Division Station and Crime Lab, has initiated a Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) and forensics college and career exploration program with a goal of introducing CSI training and forensics – both laboratory and field investigative procedures – to high school students in the area of the new facility, slated to be completed in Winter 2015-2016.
The six-week program, CSI: KC High School Students Unit (HSSU), was implemented at area high schools in Kansas City’s Third City Council District at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy and Central Academy of Excellence High School. It began March 24 and concluded April 30. The program featured a combination of guest speaker presentations from the Kansas City Missouri Police Department’s Crime Lab, Kansas City area colleges with forensic science and criminal justice degree (two- and four-year) programs, related criminal justice careers and hands-on forensic exercises.
KCPD Crime Lab Director Linda Netzel said, “Being able to give back to our community is important for the crime laboratory staff. The nature of our job makes our impact rather invisible to the general public, but informing people about what we do is a rewarding way to give back. It is never more rewarding than when we work with kids who have a genuine interest in science.”
Students observed and recorded data, used critical thinking to conduct tests to solve crimes such as theft, vandalism, rape investigations and unexplained deaths. Forensic exercises covered in the program included finger print identification, blood stain analysis, chemical analysis and evidence collection.
One of the highlighted, hands-on activities coordinated by KCPD Crime Lab Director Linda Netzel and her staff is a mock crime scene and workshop at the current Crime Lab facility located at 6633 Troost, combined with a student tour of the lab. Students investigated and solved a “crime” using the available lab tools.
Steve Evans, the Assistant Vice Principal of Lincoln Academy, said, “This is an outstanding opportunity for our students to be able to take advantage of a career-related experience right in our backyard. Our students, who just find the topic interesting, have learned many facts around aspects of forensics. This helps to be well-rounded when they hear facts about criminal cases and awareness. The interest is endless for our students, and opportunities to experience hands-on, is such an added advantage in career exploration!”
Other partners working with the team include the FBI-Kansas City Division, the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office, the forensic nursing program/COVERSA, and others.
View the program overview here.
“CSI-KC High School Students Unit program teaches high school students forensic science”
APRIL 22, 2015, By Alyson Bruner (NBC KSHB-TV Ch. 41)
“Students from Central Academy learn how to be crime scene investigators”
APRIL 23, 2015, By John Pepitone (FOX WDAF-TV Ch. 4)
“Students learn forensic science through KCPD crime lab”
APRIL 23, 2015, By Chris Oberholtz, Multimedia Producer and Elisabeth Rentschler, Multimedia Journalist (CBS KCTV-TV Ch. 5)
“Forensic pros teach teens about real-life “CSI” scenes”
MAY 13, 2015, By Jesus Lopez-Gomez (Kansas City Star)