Students host mock CSI workshop at crime museum

Four current and former graduate students are teaching a program that helps visitors at the Crime and Punishment Museum step inside the mind of a crime scene investigator.

The forensic science students wanted to share their passion for the field and saw the museum as the perfect venue to teach people about crime scenes. The programs, which run once a month, began this October.

“A lot of this stuff is fun to see,” said graduate student Chris May, one of the program’s teachers. “And not only to see and do, but to do it yourself and to lift the veil of Hollywood from CSI.”

By participating in a workshop, the students said they hope to teach people the intricacies of a crime scene investigation. Workshops hosted in the mock CSI lab involve analyzing dental records, fingerprinting, evidence collection and DNA interpretation to identify victims.

At a preview session of the program, each participant was given a fingerprint dusting kit.

The participants took a rod in the kit and carefully brushed dust over a fingerprint, making sure not to touch the glass. Soon a gray print began to surface indicating they had a clue.

After several participants identified the wrong suspect from the fingerprint, Michael Bybelezer, who graduated in May, stressed the amount of work that goes into being a fingerprint expert and the difficulty of the science.

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