Summer Camp Gets a New Partner in Crime

CSI Program Returns as a Collaboration with Museum of Nature & Science

May 19, 2009

The UT Dallas criminology program is partnering with the Dallas Museum of Nature & Science to introduce local teens to the field of crime scene investigation.

The partnership will give students ages 13 to 17 a hands-on introduction to the real world of forensic science. They will learn how to conduct an investigation from start to finish by collecting fingerprints, searching for DNA evidence and interviewing witnesses.

The activities are all part of a “CSI: Dallas” summer camp. Beginning in June, the museum will offer six sessions of the three-day program taught by UT Dallas criminology graduate students.

The university offered the camp for the first time last year. Criminology program head Dr. Jim Marquart believes that the partnership will enhance the learning experience.

“Working with the museum represents a special opportunity for us. Their staff has tremendous rapport with the local community, and their facilities will provide the kids with other exhibits and things to see beyond our camp, so everyone wins here,” said Marquart.

The students will have the added bonus of touring the museum’s traveling “Science of Spying” exhibit, as well as the museum's permanent “Putting DNA to work” exhibit.

The museum is equally excited about the partnership because UT Dallas, home to the state’s only Ph.D. program in criminology, will provide graduate criminology instructors.

“This partnership affords campers the opportunity to be exposed to a really fun group of young adults who display a lot of passion for what they’re learning,” said Steve Hinkley, director of education for the Museum of Nature & Science. “That is a unique and powerful connection that can significantly enhance a program.”

At the end of the camp, the teens will test their newly honed skills by solving “The Case of the Missing Student.” Both Marquart and Hinkley expect it to be a fun and educational experience for the students as well as the instructors.

“We are ultimately both educational institutions, though often at different ends of the age spectrum,” said Hinkley.

For more information about camp registration, visit the UT Dallas summer camp Web site, or call the Museum of Nature & Science reservations office at 214-428-5555, extension 8.


Media Contact: Audrey Glickert, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4320, audrey.glickert@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Students learned how to dust a coffee mug for fingerprints at UT Dallas’ CSI camp last year.

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