Written by Kevin Oklobzija, Staff writer – 08-10-2010
CHURCHVILLE — The 10th season of CSI Miami will air on CBS this fall. The first season of CSI Churchville began on Monday.
As the project for her Girl Scout Gold Award, the organization’s highest honor, Christa Lawniczak of Chili designed and is the instructor for the Crime Investigation Day Camp.
The camp runs through Friday at Chestnut Ridge Elementary School and is a part of the Churchville-Chili Continuing Education program. Participating students are in fifth through eighth grades.
“I just think forensic science is an awesome field and a dream job,” said Lawniczak, a 16-year-old junior-to-be at Churchville-Chili High School.
This is not a new pursuit for her, either.
“She has always enjoyed all the TV shows like CSI and Bones,” her mother Cheryl Lawniczak said. “Even the Scooby Doo mysteries when she was little; anything with mystery-solving and crime-solving.”
The students will use the morning session to learn specific forensic skills, such as deciphering fingerprints and examining dirt composition. The afternoon is then spent analyzing a crime scene, interviewing suspects and determining the offender.
The crimes aren’t real, but the brainpower is.
“It gives the kids some enrichment and gets them out of the house,” said Wendy Reese, director of continuing education for the school district. “I think it’s a great idea for a camp. It gives kids an opportunity to learn some new skills.”
The students were anxious to solve the crimes, too.
Monday’s investigation dealt with the break-in at a real estate agency. The students examined the scene, took photographs, collected and tagged evidence, then analyzed items for fingerprints and other clues.
Vanessa Fulmore, 11 and going into sixth grade, went so far as to sniff the odor from a dish towel. “Every little clue counts,” she said.
“I love mysteries and it’s really interesting to figure out who did it,” said Emily Brockman, 10, who will be in fifth grade.
Hanna Sheehan was quite sure that whoever committed the crime was left-handed, based on the positioning of a pen on the notepad. She said that since she’s right-handed, she lays the pen in a certain direction when she’s done writing. The pen was in the opposite position in the real estate office.
“I like sneaking around and learning stuff,” said Hanna, 11, who’s going into sixth grade.
Which is the point of the class, too: To challenge minds.