Student Got To Try Their Hands At CSI Science In Weekend Contest

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ELIZABETH –The Benedictine Academy (Elizabeth) CSI Science Contest held at the all-female Catholic secondary school on Saturday, Oct. 27 brought together a total of nine teams from five area elementary schools. The 54 young students participants spent several hours investigating a staged “crime” and then attempted to solve the mystery surrounding it based upon “clues” provided by the Elizabeth Police Department.

Girls in grades 6-8 participated in the event, which featured teams of students, guided by a faculty advisor, performing basic crime lab investigations. Each student team featured a team leader, an “evidence collector”, a “lab technician”, an “interviewer”, a “sketch artist” and a “photographer”. The first place award for solving the “crime” was won by Our Lady of Guadalupe Academy of Elizabeth. Second place went to St Genevieve School, Elizabeth. Third place was awarded to St. Joseph the Carpenter School, Roselle.

All eyes were on members of the Elizabeth Police Department’s “Crime Scene Investigation” unit and the Elizabeth Fire Department’s Rescue One Squad at the start of the event, as they staged what was described as “a possible arson crime” in the parking lot of the Academy. As part of the exhibition, Rescue One simulated an “accident” with “injuries” to demonstrate how an arson crime can originate. They also enacted a vehicle “extraction” for students to observe.

CSI student participants were allowed to investigate the object of the “possible arson attempt”- a car that had been severely burned. After examining the burned vehicle and taking notes, the students spread out in numerous “investigation rooms.” The police detectives on hand assisted by helping students piece together “clues” from “evidence” presented to the various investigative teams. They also offered insights into how the unit conducts analysis of such “crimes”. The student “crime scene investigators” examined “crime scene evidence” such as “fingerprint smudges”, “blood”, and “DNA” that they had collected.

Benedictine Academy Science Department faculty member Tom Randle coordinated the event along with Elizabeth Police Sergeant Mike Jones. Other members of the Elizabeth Police Department who assisted students with their investigations were Detectives Mickey Colon and Paul Pasternak, and Police Officers Joseph Garcia and Carrie Scharpnick. The other schools that participated in the CSI Contest were: St. Mary and St. Elizabeth Academy, Linden and Maria L. Varisco-Rogers Charter School, Newark. All students received certificates for participating.

Making the “investigations” as realistic as possible, the Elizabeth Police Department went out of its way to create “a crime scene” for students to explore during the “CSI Science Contest” at Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth on Saturday, Oct. 27. Members of the Elizabeth Police Department’s “Crime Scene Investigation” unit, and, the Elizabeth Fire Department’s Rescue One Squad, staged what was described as “a possible arson crime” in the parking lot of the Academy. As part of the exhibition, Rescue One staged an “accident” with “injuries” to demonstrate how an arson crime can originate. They also enacted a vehicle “extraction” for students to observe. Students are pictured examining the car involved for possible arson clues.

Students are pictured listening to Elizabeth Fire Department Acting Captain Shawn Herman as they learn more about the “rescue”.

Student “victims” (l-r) Heavenleigh Colon and Stephanie Simoes await emergency medical assistance while Elizabeth Police Sgt. Mike Jones assists. Both girls are students at Benedictine Academy.

Student participants were very enthused about checking for clues in the “arson crime” they investigated during the October 27 CSI event at Benedictine Academy. Pictured are St. Joseph the Carpenter School (Roselle) students (l-r) Madeleine Barry, Sayeh Nelson, Deidra Benoit, QuaAsia Robinson, and Sidney Toussaint.

“Too much dust overdevelops the print,” stated Elizabeth Police Officer Joseph Garcia, as he demonstrated fingerprint dusting techniques in Benedictine Academy’s science lab to student investigators Ashley Perez (left) and Colleen Badalis. Perez attends Maria L. Varisco-Rogers Charter School in Newark. Badalis is from Saints Mary and Elizabeth Academy in Linden.

Students were totally engrossed in examining “evidence” during the “CSI Science Contest” held at Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth on October 27. Pictured are (l-r) Samantha Diaz, Natasha Solano, Robyn Owens, and Karla Sanmartin, all students at St. Genevieve School in Elizabeth. Girls in grades 6-8 from five area elementary schools participated in the event, which featured teams of six students, along with a faculty advisor, performing basic crime lab investigations.

Tom Randle (right), faculty member in the Science Department at Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth, worked with the student “investigators” during the “CSI Science Contest” on October 27. Randle is pictured advising Mauryne Audige (left) and Hilda Fernandez, both students at Our Lady of Guadalupe Academy in Elizabeth. Our Lady of Guadalupe won first place in the contest.

Students from Our Lady of Guadalupe Academy in Elizabeth placed first in Benedictine Academy’s CSI Science Contest on October 27, 2012. Student “investigators” from OLG are pictured with Benedictine Academy President Sister Germaine Fritz, OSB, after receiving their first place award. Photo standing (l-r): Faculty Advisor Patricia Nicodemus and OLG students Maria Meza, Mauryne Audige and Hilda Fernandez; kneeling (l-r) Esmerldy Jaquez and Olga Jimenez. Second place went to St. Genevieve School, Elizabeth. Third place was awarded to St. Joseph the Carpenter School in Roselle. The Benedictine Academy CSI Science contest brought together a total of nine teams from five elementary schools. “Crime scene” reports produced by the students were evaluated by the Elizabeth Police, based on specific criteria.

Elizabeth Police volunteered their time for the CSI event at Benedictine Academy on October 27. Pictured (l-r) are: Sgt. Mike Jones; Detective Mickey Colon; Det. Paul Pasternak; Officer Carrie Scharpnick; and Officer Joseph Garcia. All assisted students in their “investigations” and judged the final crime scene reports.

 (Photos courtesy of Benedictine Academy)


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