By: Erika Axe
On Saturday, March 23, James Caldwell High School yet again competed in the 7th Annual C.S.I Forensic Competition at Caldwell College. Led this year by Mr. Robert Dubas and Ms. Joann DiNonno, students prepared for a competition that would evaluate all the different aspects of investigating a crime scene.
Forensic Science, the science of solving crimes, may sound familiar to many thanks to shows like CSI: New York or Miami. However, day-to-day forensic science is very different. When faced with a budget, limited time, and limited technology, crimes can’t always be solved using machines that can detect DNA from a leaf within a few minutes, it takes a whole bunch of skills. Many of these skills, including leadership, organization, deduction, chemistry, interviewing, fingerprinting, identifying, and general open-mindedness, were practiced and performed by the JCHS team at the competition.
At the competition, Team Captain Corinne Canavale led seniors Jason Dow, Pat Gavin, Brian Knight, and Ethan Meth as well as juniors Nicole Palazzo, Erika Axe, and Jack Kinney without the help of their two advisors in the solving of the crime scene presented to them.
Upon arriving at Caldwell College, the team was presented with a room that was the location of a potential kidnapping and a witness of the crime. Team members carefully analyzed the room by taking pictures, collecting evidence, identifying everything, and making a sketch of the scene. Collected evidence was then taken to a Chemistry Lab to be tested, while the witness was interrogated and brought into a Computer Lab to help identify the appearance of the people at the crime scene. Each team received a police officer who judged their progress and the final presentation by the Team Captain—giving point values for each process in solving the crime.
Ending the day with C.S.I. t-shirts and free pizza and cookies, the JCHS team received honorable mention for their efforts in the competition. Look for them next year when our school competes again!