RCSD Students Conduct 'Crime Scene Investigation' at SUNY Geneseo

Math educator Kate Hartmann assists two Rochester City School District students with technology skills, part of the Rochester Young Scholars Academy camp. Students are focusing on forensic science during the two-week camp.


GENESEO, N.Y. -- Rising fifth- through 10th-grade students from the Rochester City School District are on the SUNY Geneseo campus through July 27 investigating an art theft during the college's annual Rochester Young Scholars Academy camp (RYSAG).

During the two-week Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) camp, the 67 students are being crime scene investigators and learning the science of forensics. They will learn investigative methods during various science, art history and communication workshops during their stay.

"We had a similar CSI theme at the camp five years ago and it was quite successful," said Susan Norman, camp director and director of Geneseo's Xerox Center for Multicultural Teacher Education. "Most of our campers will know little about forensic science but they likely have heard about it through popular media and will quickly learn about the science involved in such investigation and the value of critical thinking."

Geneseo faculty members are teaching the students laboratory analysis and other scientific techniques as well as art history and communication skills. Geneseo undergraduate and graduate students, college alumni and Rochester City School District staff are participating as counselors.

Major funding for the camp is being provided by the Rochester City School District, Xerox Corp. and SUNY Geneseo.

New to the camp this year is a group of English-language-learning refugees from other countries who are students at Rochester's Jefferson High School. Joining them is their instructor who teaches the students English as a second language and is here to facilitate their involvement in camp activities. Their participation in the camp is made possible by a Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation grant to the Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association, which is helping the students acquire pre-collegiate experiences.

The camp will culminate in a graduation ceremony July 27 following a town hall presentation where the students will showcase their work. The RYSAG program continues during the school year through a Saturday school program at the Rochester Public Library, where Geneseo education faculty and students do academic follow-up with the RYSAG students involved in the summer camp to continue developing their critical thinking skills.

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