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Archive for Thursday, February 25, 2010

Students work murder crime scene as part of biology class

"Victim" Jacob Breyne, plays dead as Annie Wildgen, Camas Buerger, and Kailee Dudley take crime scene information to be processed. Central Junior High ninth grade biology students took part in a crime scene investigation exercise on Thursday.

"Victim" Jacob Breyne, plays dead as Annie Wildgen, Camas Buerger, and Kailee Dudley take crime scene information to be processed. Central Junior High ninth grade biology students took part in a crime scene investigation exercise on Thursday.

February 25, 2010

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Students investigate crime scene as part of biology class

Central Junior High students combed a body-littered auditorium looking for clues and learning about forensic science. Enlarge video

Four dead bodies — strangled and bludgeoned — littered the Central Junior High auditorium Thursday.

Teams of ninth-graders worked to find the killers by inspecting the various crime scenes, all as part of a “Crime Scene Investigation” exercise.

“It was really fun as opposed to learning from a textbook,” said Johannes Reiber, one of the students enrolled in the advanced biology class that participated in the exercise. Reiber’s task was interrogating the murder suspects, comprised of teacher volunteers.

“Some of them were a little bit suspicious,” he said. “I try to get them to slip up and say something they don’t want to say.”

Reiber and the other students spent two weeks learning crime-solving techniques, such as DNA testing, hair sample collection and fingerprint identification.

Biology teacher and event coordinator Julie Battaglia said the CSI-themed assignment was a fun way to get the students interested in science. Started by her predecessor, the event is in now in its sixth year.

And the student-sleuths were having fun and learning about relying on the evidence.

“It’s like solving a puzzle,” said Paul Eberhart-Phillips, who spent the class period taking photographs of a fellow student posing as a murder victim. Based on a wound to the back of the head, Eberhart-Phillips theorized that the murderer killed the victim with a table leg.

But he’d rely on the lab results — and the scientific process — before identifying a definitive cause of death, something not always emphasized in the movies and on TV.

“It’s a lot harder than it seems,” he said.

The challenge, however, has sparked his curiosity about a career in crime solving, something he hadn’t considered before the class.

Now, he said, a future as a CSI detective is “a definite possibility.”

Comments

somebodynew 4 years, 1 month ago

@momof4 - OK, I am confused and really hope I am wrong.

"Yea, i did this last year,..." I hope you aren't saying you were in ninth grade last year (the age of the kids in this story) and now you are the mom of 4 ????

I just know there is more to your post than the way it comes across.

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momof4 4 years, 1 month ago

Yea, i did this last year, you learn how to lift finger prints, take finger prints, collect hair that was left at the crime scene, and interview suspects. The school officer teaches most of the classes in this unit.

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BlackVelvet 4 years, 1 month ago

what are the qualifications of the person instructing the class? is she trained in this area?

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Meatwad 4 years, 1 month ago

I definitely don't find this upsetting. Quite the opposite. Murder is reality, Spunkey. It exists. Kids are exposed to it anyway. I absolutely applaud this school and this teacher for having such an inspiring and fascinating learning activity for the students. They are changing lives.

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Paul R Getto 4 years, 1 month ago

Puxesaco: I agree. Active learning is good and can be well done when properly supervised. Murder most foul is unpleasant, but makes for a good, complicated set of learning activities. Besides, many in this generation sit at their computers in the evening and 'murder' digital enemies. At least it's something they can relate to.

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Puxesaco 4 years, 1 month ago

Because investigating the theft of a bike would be about as interesting as watching paint dry...

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SpunKey 4 years, 1 month ago

24 hours after it posted and I'm the only one who finds this upsetting!?! Crimes scene investigation sounds like a good idea, but why murders? Why not stolen bikes, car valdalism, child abductions or less violent crimes? There are plenty of less volient crimes frequently committed by or upon teens that cost our community. Why not make the exercise hit home more?

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