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Middle School Students Learn to Solve Real-World Problems with Statistics at Summer 2018 STEM InCyte Camp

STEM subjects may sometimes be taught in a way that seems dull to students, but CSAFE was generating excitement for forensic science at the STEM InCyte Camp at Iowa State University on June 5, 2018. CSAFE graduate students led an afternoon workshop for 4th and 5th graders focused on hands-on group activities to expose students to statistical applications and forensic science evidence analysis. The InCyte Camp was designed to teach students how to use all aspects of STEM to solve real-world problems in a career-oriented approach. CSAFE’s workshop included an introduction to the “sample versus population” statistics concept and an opportunity to create inked fingerprints and powder shoeprints. In a fun and creative activity, students filled out the game Madlib style cards to help conduct a visual analysis of their fingerprints. Students considered fingerprints from “suspect cards” as crime scene “evidence” to learn how forensic scientists narrow down a suspect pool.

Feedback from students showed that they enjoyed the activities and learning more about evidence collection and crime scenes. One student said, “It makes me want to have a career like this.” Discover more about CSAFE education initiatives on our website. To discuss partnering with CSAFE for your next educational outreach program, please visit our contact page.