Forensic Science 101 camp students solve the case, learn detective skills

By Maddie Adam

          On Monday June 14, seventh and eighth grade girls from schools around Omaha filed into chemistry teacher Mrs. Stacy Tunink’s room to participate in a forensics camp. This was part of Marian’s “Summer Sampler,” a chance for elementary and middle school students to experience what the high school has to offer. 

          To start off the week, the girls investigated a fictional crime scene (a principal knocked unconscious) and collected evidence: a can of Diet Coke, hair, and blood stains. They investigated three unknown potential suspects, who would later be known as a vice principal, a math teacher, and a track coach. As the week progressed, the girls used the pieces of evidence to collect DNA, decipher blood types, find fingerprints, and study hair and blood samples under a microscope. The girls then had to match the results from the evidence to either the victim or the suspects. 

          At the end of the week, all of the evidence was pieced together and pointed to the track coach, whose fingerprints and DNA matched the evidence. The seventh and eighth grade detectives on the case successfully discovered “Who Dun It?” and had a great time at the camp. This year was the first year for Mrs. Tunink, who has a Masters degree in Forensic Science, to run this camp. After experiencing the week, she said she is excited to continue next summer. 

7th and 8th grade girls investigate a fictional crime scene. They used numbers to tag the location of each piece of evidence and collected what they found into bags. Photo by Maddie Adam.
Girls place a piece of glass containing red blood cells onto a microscope. The goal of this exercise was to learn how to use a microscope and compare human blood cells to animal blood cells.

“Forensic Science 101: Marian CSI” was one of 13 camp sessions offered. With everything from “Flag Corps” to “Crazy about Clay,” elementary and middle school girls were sure to find a camp to fit their interests! Current Marian students assisted teachers during the 2-week sessions.

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