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Inside the PPD: Real Life CSI: Getting Kids Excited About Science



Police Officers and Forensic Scientists from the state-of-the-art Philadelphia Police Department Forensic Science Center have been reaching out to Philadelphia’s children. They have been to school assemblies, science fairs, and career days, all in the name of science.

With the popularity of CSI and shows like it, many young people are interested in the forensic sciences. The Philadelphia Police Department’s Forensic Science Bureau has been talking to these kids directly, and emphasizing the importance of math and science in this interesting and innovative branch of police work. From recovering evidence, to

processing and analyzing, to the presentation of evidence in court, these scientific investigators play an essential role in the criminal justice system and they enjoy sharing their expertise with future scientists.

“Most kids are interested, but there are always a few that really have insightful questions and a real interest in what we are saying, “ said DNA Forensic Scientist Lynn Haimowitz. Mike Garvey, Director of the Forensic Science Center, hopes to be able to reach more kids in the future. “We started with six schools two years ago. This year that number has doubled and we expect it to increase again next year.” Mike also talked about how this program is great for his employees: “Our people have found some creative ways to bring our jobs in to the classroom.” Hung Le, a Forensic Scientist specializing in trace evidence, built a prop that mimics a dark room to show students how a search for trace evidence is conducted.

Perhaps one of the students from this year’s program will be a future PPD forensic expert?

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