Students from Lake Macquarie High School were the first to experience a new program launched at the University of Newcastle last week.
CSI Newcastle was developed by UON’s AIM High team and is targeted at Year 9 students to provide them with a hands-on experience across a range of study areas as they try and solve a staged murder.
During the day, students worked through four activities to eliminate suspects and eventually send the suspected killer to trial. The activities ranged from analysing the forensic evidence including fingerprints and hair samples through to learning about media journalism and the proceedings of a court trial.
The program exposes Year 9 students to a wide range of programs offered at university and encourages them to undertake science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at secondary and tertiary levels.
“We saw forensic science as an area of opportunity to get students excited and interested in these subjects as it is so deeply embedded in popular culture. Currently there is a decline in the number of Australian students undertaking STEM subjects and CSI Newcastle is a fun way to get students involved. It might even encourage them to consider a future career in one of these fields,” said Equity and Diversity Manager, Ms Belinda Munn.
CSI Newcastle can cater for up to 100 students on campus and will also be delivered in selected AIM High partner schools across the Hunter, Central and Mid North Coast regions in the coming weeks.
The program was recently piloted at Wyong High School and Bulahdelah Central School and has already received positive feedback.
“The students I’ve spoken to said they had a great day and were all highly engaged. They enjoyed the variety of activities as well as the chance to talk to the university students delivering each activity,” said Head Teacher Science at Wyong High School, Warwick Freeman.
CSI Newcastle has the potential to reach thousands of students throughout its future delivery, providing students with information and opportunities they might not otherwise have access to.
For more information, please contact AIM High Project Officer Ren Allan on 4921 8991 or Ren.Allan@newcastle.edu.au