Rockland Middle School Students Investigate Crime Scenes

By Joelle Albury | Nov 20, 2012
Photo by: Josie Gates Detective Thompson visits with the Rockland After School Alliance CSI club

For the past seven weeks middle school students who participated in the Rockland After School Alliance (RASA) program “CSI” have been playing detective. On the first day of programming students were given a crime scene to investigate and evidence to collect including hair, powder, fibers, fingerprints, a smear of lip stick and a foot print. Each following week students tested their evidence using forensic science skills. Labs included fingerprinting analysis, chromatography, dichotomy keys, forensic odontology, hair and fiber analysis, and blood typing. Students also learned skills in handling and operating a microscope to help them analyze evidence.

During the last week of RASA programs Detective Russell Thompson of Rockland Police Department came as a guest speaker. Students shared with him the forensic labs that they had conducted as well as asked questions regarding his experience as a seasoned detective in the mid-coast Maine area. Students questions ranged from, “What is the silliest crime you’ve ever investigated?” to what steps should they take to become a police officer or detective. Thompson gave them words of encouragement by saying that all of the forensic science labs that they conducted in CSI are ones that are used every day in the forensic science field.

RASA is a program of Youthlinks offered in collaboration with RSU 13 supported by a 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant from the Maine Department of Education. Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services, a non-profit organization that has been serving the children and families of Waldo and Knox Counties since 1983. For more information concerning the Rockland After-School Alliance, please Youthlinks: 594-2221 or visit

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