Camp 'CSI'

By Rachel
June 21, 2007 - 6:01 AM

Summer camps in Arizona are taking advantage of the popularity of the CSI franchise to fuel interest.

"If you kind of pay attention, everything is forensic something. Forensic is the buzz word," said Howard Birnbaum, assistant superintendent in charge of the scientific analysis bureau for the Department of Public Safety in Phoenix, Arizona. With hit shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on the air, young people are being exposed to science--and they want to learn more. "It's cool how they investigate it and how they figure it out," Karlee Preston, a 12-year-old from Glendale, told The Arizona Republic.

Summer camps with forensic themes are providing kids with a way to explore the science behind the television magic. Science Rocks, a day camp held at the Sandra Day O'Connor High School in Glendale, Arizona, gave kids like Preston the chance to solve mysteries like a CSI. "The crime lab was pretty cool," Preston said, explaining that they got to "test blood." The blood was fake, but the knowledge is real. Testing bodily fluids, dusting for fingerprints and even staging fake courtroom scenes ensure that camps like Science Rocks keep kids learning during the summer.

The programs let the kids have fun, but the organizers are hoping that they can do more than that. Sci Girls, a weeklong camp leading up to the CSI: Crime Scene Insects exhibit at the Arizona Science Center, was created to target preteen girls. Hannah Wiltamuth, children's program manager at the Science Center, explained that they were "holding this camp with hopes girls will stay interested in science."

The original article is from The Arizona Republic.

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