Welcome to Classroom Student Investigations Institute

Description of Program:

Thirty science teachers will be selected to participate in the two week CSI: Classroom Student Investigations Institute, which takes place June 16-27, 2014 (dates have changed from June 9-20, due to inclement weather), at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas. One hundred and twenty students, ranging from students who have completed 6th grade to students in 10th grade,will be selected to participate in a two day workshop, which takes place on June 25-26,2014 (dates have changed from June 18-19, due to inclement weather), taught by the teacher participants. Meals and dorm rooms will be provided for teachers as well as stipends for teachers and students. Limited travel scholarships are available for teachers who participate. See application for further details.

Goals:

This program is designed to provide educators a professional development opportunity to acquire knowledge in integrating science and technology concepts, lab skills, and their application. Using forensic science as the theme, teachers will acquire pedagogical strategies to promote student investigation and inquiry based on the new science frameworks. Teachers will be able to use these standards-based activities in their own classrooms.

Activities:

Teachers and students will team up to investigate a rash of mysterious events. Can they assemble the evidence to solve the case? In addition to basic forensic techniques, investigations will include:

  1. forensic entomology,
  2. the use of robotics in forensics
  3. DNA, microbial analysis, and
  4. analysis of trace evidence.

This project is funded by a grant given to Arkansas State University by the National Science Foundation (NSF 09-506 Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers – ITEST).

Science Teachers June 16-27, 2014 (Dates have changed from June 9-20, due to inclement weather)

Dates for CSI:

Week 1: June 16 – 20, 2014 (Dates have changed from June 9 - 13 due to inclement weather) Teachers will learn to integrate basic science concepts and investigative techniques using a forensics perspective. Week 2: June 23 - 27, 2014 (Dates have changed from June 16 - 20 due to inclement weather) Teachers will pilot the new ideas and concepts by working with students in the program (120 students will be selected) during a two-day workshop for students that will occur June 25-26, 2014 (Dates have changed from June 18-19 due to inclement weather).

General Information for Teachers:

  • Preference will be given to science teachers (grades 7-10), but will consider other grades as space allows. Up to thirty teachers will be selected.
  • Earn professional development hours.
  • If desired, participants can earn graduate credit. However, it will be at the participant’s own cost.
  • Teachers will earn a stipend up to $2000 over the course of the summer institute and academic year.
  • Meals and dorm lodging will be provided. Limited travel scholarships available. See application for further details.
  • Teachers are required to participate in supporting activities during the school year which include developing three forensic science lessons during the academic year, develop and implement a forensic family science night and incorporate career development activities in their classroom.

Activities:

Teachers and students will team up to investigate a rash of mysterious events. Can they assemble the evidence to solve the case? In addition to basic forensic techniques, investigations will include:

  1. forensic entomology,
  2. the use of robotics in forensics,
  3. DNA, microbial analysis, and
  4. analysis of trace evidence.

STUDENTS June 25-26, 2014 (Dates have changed from June 18-19, due to inclement weather)

General Information for Students:

  • One hundred and twenty students, ranging from those who have completed 6th grade to those who are in 10th grade, will be selected to participate in a two day workshop taught by the teacher participants.
  • Lunch will be provided.
  • Housing will not be available.
  • Students can earn up to $30 for the completion of all activities.

Activities:

Teachers and students will be drawn into a make-believe murder mystery. Can they assemble the evidence to solve the case? In addition to basic forensic techniques, investigations will include:

  1. forensic entomology,
  2. the use of robotics in forensics,
  3. DNA, microbial analysis, and
  4. analysis of trace evidence.

Contacts:
  • Dr. Karen Yanowitz, Department of Psychology and Counseling, kyanowit@astate.edu
  • Dr. Ann Ross, Department of Teacher Education, cross@astate.edu
  • Dr. Tanja McKay, Department of Biological Sciences, tmckay@astate.edu
  • Emily Renee Carroll, CSI Project Manager, ecarroll@astate.edu
Other personnel involved in this project:
  • Dr. David Gilmore, Department of Biological Sciences (microbiology)
  • Dr. Diana Williams, Department of Teacher Education (educational technology)
  • Dr. Cynthia Miller, Director of the Delta STEM Education Center
  • Dr. Julie Grady, Director of the Rural STEM Education Center
  • Dr. Edward T. Hammerand, Department of Computer Science (robotics)
  • Dr. Marty Huss (Plants)
  • Dr. Richard Warby (Soil)
  • Dr. Ronald L. Johnson, Department of Biological Sciences (DNA fingerprinting)