CSI: From NCCAT seminar to Kings Mountain classroomMissy Short, an eighth-grade science teacher at Kings Mountain Middle School, was so impressed with how much she learned at NCCAT’s “Everyone Needs a Little Mystery: CSI in Your Classroom” seminar that she thought her students deserved the same opportunity. “The activities we did were so interesting and fun that I immediately began thinking of ways to incorporate them into my own science classroom,” Short said. “A lot of crime scene investigating is math and science oriented.”
Her idea was to set up an actual crime scene at her school. She called on Doug Scott, an NCCAT presenter who is director of the Criminal Justice Technology program at Durham Technical Community College and a member of the Durham County Sheriff’s Department, to help her with the details of the lessons.
“As crime scene investigators (CSIs), my students had to put math and science to work,” Short said. “They learned to collect and analyze fingerprints, triangulate blood spatter, measure the crime scene, look for blood with the chemical Luminol, compare footprints, and much more.” Short applied for and received a Bright Ideas Grant from the Rutherford Electric Corporation to pay for materials.
“Sometimes the only exposure students have to science is text books, so they do not see how science can be applied in real life. I wanted to change that for the students I teach— and I did,” Short said. All four of the eighth grade science classes at Kings Mountain Middle School participated in Short’s CSI activity this spring. The school plans to repeat the lesson for next year’s eighth-grade students as well.