Elizabeth School Hosts “CSI” Science Competition

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ELIZABETH—A “CSI” science contest for girls in grades 6-8 was held at Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth on Saturday, April 2. The competition brought together a total of nine investigative teams representing eight elementary schools in the Union and Essex County area. The first place award was given to Ironbound Catholic School in Newark. Second place went to St. Genevieve’s School, Elizabeth. Third place was awarded to St. Joseph the Carpenter School in Roselle.

Following a highly successful “CSI” competition last fall, a second contest featuring teams of three to six students, along with a faculty advisor, performed basic crime lab investigations. Contestants were spread out in numerous “investigation rooms” (classrooms), and working in Benedictine Academy’s new interactive high school science lab, the “crime scene investigators” pieced together clues from evidence presented to the various investigative teams.

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Members of the Elizabeth Police Department’s “Crime Scene Investigation” unit were on hand to lend instruction and offer insights into how the unit conducts investigations. The young “investigators” collected crime scene evidence such as fingerprint smudges, “blood”, and “DNA”, and then examined it in the science lab using microscopes and other equipment.

Benedictine Academy’s Science Department coordinated the event. Elizabeth Police Department detectives Loushan Holmes, Neal Coleman, Mickey Colon and David DeRosa, along with Sergeant Mike Jones, helped students with realistic crime scene evidence-gathering.

In addition to the three schools that won the science competition, other schools represented were Hillside Catholic Academy; Our Lady of Sorrows in South Orange; St. John the Apostle in Clark; St. Theresa’s in Kenilworth and Saints Mary & Elizabeth Academy in Linden.

Making the “investigations” as realistic as possible, the Elizabeth Police Department went out of its way to create “crime scenes” for students to explore during the “CSI Science Contest” at Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth on April 2. Spread out in numerous “investigation rooms” (classrooms), and then working in Benedictine Academy’s new interactive science lab, the “crime scene investigators” (students) pieced together clues from evidence presented to the various investigative teams. Pictured discussing DNA extraction and fingerprinting techniques are, Elizabeth Police Detective Mickey Colon (far left), with students from St. Theresa’s School in Kenilworth and St. John the Apostle School in Clark: (l-r) Katherine Palacion of Kenilworth; Kathy Conaty, Mary Fagan, and Eileen Conaty, all of Clark; and Cassidy Deegan of Rahway.

Some students were totally engrossed in examining “evidence” during the “CSI Science Contest” held at Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth on April 2. Pictured is Erin Pernas of Hillside Catholic Academy, testing for fingerprints taken from the “crime scene” she was “investigating”.
Girls in grades 6-8 from eight area elementary schools participated in the event, which featured teams of 3-6 students, along with a faculty advisor, performing basic crime lab investigations.

Visiting students examine “evidence” from a “white collar crime” during Benedictine Academy’s “CSI Science Contest” held at the school’s Elizabeth campus on April 2. Students in grades 6-8 from eight area schools collected crime scene “evidence”- such as blood, fingerprint and DNA samples- and performed basic crime lab investigations in the Academy’s new science lab. Pictured are students from St. John the Apostle School in Clark (l-r): Angelica Poselek, Sierra White and Nicole Ciarczynski, all of Linden; Erin Waltner of Clark; Sophia Morin and Noelle Sullivan, of Linden; and Erika Valderrana of Rahway.

Sister Kathleen McHugh, S.S.C. (left), faculty member in the Science Department at Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth , supervises the student “investigators” in the school’s new interactive science lab during the “CSI Science Contest” on April 2. The students enjoyed the bonus of working in a brand new lab complete with the “LabQuest” program which offers state-of-the-art technology such as probes and embedded labs with real-time data analysis. Anayae Augustin (center) and Adrienne Bagtas, both of St. Joseph the Carpenter School in Roselle, are pictured identifying “fingerprints” as they attempt to “solve” a crime.

“You never let your witness walk away,” Elizabeth Police Detective Loushan Holmes (far right), told her group of novice “detectives” during Benedictine Academy’s CSI Science Contest on April 2. Holmes and other members of the Elizabeth Police Department’s “Crime Scene Investigation” unit were on hand to lend instruction and offer insights into how the unit conducts investigations. Police Sergeant Mike Jones and four detectives helped the students collect crime scene evidence such as fingerprint smudges, “blood”, and “DNA”. Participants then examined it in the science lab using microscopes and other equipment. Pictured with Detective Holmes are, l-r: Jordan Dixon, Crystal Lyn, Tara Hartnett and Noelle Bazin, all of Our Lady of Sorrows School in South Orange.

Students from St. Genevieve School in Elizabeth placed second in Benedictine Academy’s CSI Science Contest on April 2, 2011. Pictured confirming the results of tests done on “evidence” in the Academy’s state-of-the-art science lab are (l-r): Sasha Lopez, Heaven-Leigh Colon, Amber Naranjo and Natasha Salano. The first place CSI Contest award was given to Ironbound Academy in Newark; third place was awarded to St. Joseph the Carpenter School in Roselle. The Benedictine Academy CSI Science contest held at the school’s Elizabeth campus brought together a total of nine teams from eight elementary schools.

(Photos courtesy of Benedictine Academy)


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