The Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE) program is offering a five-week CSI Virtual Science Academy for HCISD students every Saturday in October.
The sessions include topics such as Forensic Anthropology, Fingerprinting, Investigating Hair and Fibers, Tire Tracks Challenge, and Blood Spatter Investigation and Teeth Impressions. This academy aims to provide students with more knowledge about the investigation that happens at a crime scene and an understanding of the different jobs and careers that are available in this setting.
Twenty slots per middle school campus were made available for this academy, and they filled quickly. More than 70 students participated in the first session. The first class was held on October 3.
Caleb Trevino, a sixth-grader at Vela Middle School was one of the students who signed up for the science academy and took part in the session about forensic anthropology.
“The first CSI Science Academy class was a lot of fun,” Trevino said. “I was able to learn about the bones that are most useful in developing a profile of a person. I hope this academy is offered again so that other students can experience it.”
Those who registered for the science academy were enrolled in the ACE CSI Google Classroom for the virtual sessions.
“Through there, students are able to access the Zoom links along with other additional resources,” ACE Coordinator at Vernon Middle School Martha Pina said. “While in their Zoom sessions, students have the opportunity to watch videos, engage with other students, and participate in polls to get real-time feedback in the activities we are doing.”
To make these sessions more of a hands-on experience, kits with the necessary materials to complete activities and projects were distributed to each participant.
“In my kit, I received: my spiffy CSI Academy t-shirt that I can’t wait to customize, a plastic skeleton, butcher paper for the crime scene tracing of the body, worksheets to label the main bones in the human body, a skeleton cutout, and a forensic anthropology question sheet for the videos that we watched,” Trevino said.
Trevino is interested in working for NASA one day to pursue his love for astronomy and anything science. When asked how he thought this science academy would help him prepare for his future career choice, he said, “Space is a harsh enough environment, so I think this CSI Academy can help me learn more about how to pay close attention to detail in my future space exploration missions. It will help me to find ways to gather information and evidence about certain findings.”
At student and parent request, ACE Middle School will be hosting another academy next semester.
“While we are still working on a theme, we are excited to continue the mission for our students and cannot wait to offer them another opportunity to learn, grow, and discover,” Pina said.