Maui Business

CSI Maui: Real-World Forensics at 4-H Tech Connect Event

July 31, 2015, 7:52 AM HST
* Updated July 31, 7:53 AM
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4-H Tech Connect (from left) members Kacee Arase, Cassidy Matsuda and Kristi Echiverri participated in a hair and fiber lab activity to solve a mock crime. Other hands-on activities included analyzing fingerprints and footprints, career paths in forensic science and criminal justice, and a DNA presentation by Maui Police Department CSI Tony Earles. Courtesy photo.

4-H Tech Connect (from left) members Kacee Arase, Cassidy Matsuda and Kristi Echiverri participated in a hair and fiber lab activity to solve a mock crime. Other hands-on activities included analyzing fingerprints and footprints, career paths in forensic science and criminal justice, and a DNA presentation by Maui Police Department CSI Tony Earles. Courtesy photo.

By Maui Now Staff

The eighth annual 4-H Tech Connect event brought real-life CSI technology to Maui County 4-H members.

This year’s 4-H Tech Connect challenged over 65 elementary, middle and high school members to investigate a crime scene using the latest forensic techniques.

Maui Police Department, Criminal Investigation Division: Forensics/ID Unit. On Monday, July 27, more than 65 elementary and high school students used forensic science techniques to crack a case in a mock crime scene event. With the support from the Maui Police Department, CSI Police Evidence Specialist Tony Earles conducted a walkthrough of the mock crime scene hosted by MEDB’s Women in Technology Project. Courtesy photo.

Maui Police Department, Criminal Investigation Division: Forensics/ID Unit. On Monday, July 27, more than 65 elementary and high school students used forensic science techniques to crack a case in a mock crime scene event. With the support from the Maui Police Department, CSI Police Evidence Specialist Tony Earles conducted a walkthrough of the mock crime scene hosted by MEDB’s Women in Technology Project. Courtesy photo.

In keeping with the event theme, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” the afternoon began with a simulated kidnapping intended to bring CSI problem-solving into focus.

MPD’s Police Evidence Specialist Anthony “Tony” Earles presented an introduction to forensic science and offered pointers on collecting evidence before letting student investigators explore the staged crime scene.

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“The students really got into it,” said WIT STEMworks Director Isla Young. “They were able to use real world forensics to do fingerprint, hair, fiber and footprint analysis. They also got to watch a fascinating DNA presentation by CSI Earles.”

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After collecting and analyzing the evidence, the students correctly determined that the evidence pointed to “Suspect A.” The kidnapped victim was successfully returned and the perpetrator was arrested by MPD’s Detectives Bennett and Hamilton.

(From left) Cassidy Matsuda, Kacee Arase and Kristi Echiverri, members of the 4-H Tech Connect, investigate a mock crime scene. The experimental learning opportunity for students interested in careers in forensic science and criminal justice was hosted by MEDB’s Women in Technology Project.

(From left) Cassidy Matsuda, Kacee Arase and Kristi Echiverri, members of the 4-H Tech Connect, investigate a mock crime scene. The experimental learning opportunity for students interested in careers in forensic science and criminal justice was hosted by MEDB’s Women in Technology Project.

The whole experience inspired 4-Her Kami Echiverri to think about a forensics career.

“I love to help people around the world and CSI gives me that opportunity to do just that,” she said. “ I hope more girls can be as passionate about STEM.”

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The event was sponsored by Maui Economic Development Board’s Women in Technology in partnership with the Maui County 4-H Youth Development Program and the Maui Police Department’s Forensic Team.

Since 2006, WIT’s annual Tech Connect has been helping to infuse science and technology into the Maui County 4-H experience in alignment with the national 4-H tech movement.

For more information about MEDB WIT Project and its mission to build a 21st century STEM workforce, contact Isla Young via email.

STEMworks is a statewide program of the WIT Project, an initiative of MEDB. WIT is funded in part by the US Departments of Education and Agriculture, Office of Naval Research, State of Hawai‘i and the County of Maui.

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