Mark Your Calendars for CSI Exhibit!

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Get ready! CSI is coming! I found out about a great new interactive exhibit that’s making its way around the country called CSI: The Experience, based on the TV show. Follow this link for the exhibit’s website:

http://www.csitheexperience.org/
The site is great and gives you a thrilling preview of the exhibit.

In the exhibit you have the opportunity to walk through three different crime scenes, following and collecting, and then examining evidence that you find. You will be guided by cast members from the TV show, along with their real life counterparts (including one whom I’ve met on a few occasions, Dr. Jason Byrd, a forensic entomologist and real life Grissom!) and really, what could be better than studying maggots with Grissom?? The exhibit helps you learn about and collect bloodstain, trace, DNA, fingerprints, and other types of evidence as you walk through the three completely different crime scenes. You will use computers as well as good old standard collection techniques, and the CSI guides will help you make sense of everything. In a briefing room you will meet the creator of the show and find out what inspired it. You will watch as a true forensic investigator shows you the tricks of the trade. And you will be introduced to your supervisor, Gil Grissom (I think I just fainted already). Want to take part in an autopsy with Doc Robbins? Well, guess what? You can poke around in a dead body along side him (well, maybe not a REAL dead body…). Want to check out a toxicology lab with Greg Sanders? You can do that too. Collect trace and footprint evidence with Catherine or Sara? Have fun! Analyze DNA with Nick and Hodges? Yep! You will even be able to visit an evidence lab and an autopsy suite. And when it’s all over and you think you’ve solved the cases, you get to meet with Grissom and find out if you were right.

How cool is that?? Yes, I am a nerd and a huge fan of the show, and I’m not afraid to admit it even though some of my colleagues may be (more about this later). I need to give credit where credit is due, and the show got me interested enough in the science to spawn my graduate career. This exhibit sounds like a ton of fun, and seems great for kids especially. I have no doubt it will be exciting and may even spur some young minds into scientific endeavors. In any case, I can’t wait for this to make its way closer to me. The schedule is as follows:
Jan. 29-May 1, 2011: US Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama
May 28-Sept. 5, 2011: Exploration Place, Wichita, Kansas
Oct. 1-Jan. 1, 2012: The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
It just finished up a run at the Rochester, NY Museum and Science Center, and I had been thinking about making the trek up there, braving piles of snow and icy roads just to see it. But then I came to my senses and decided to be patient.

Another great site to check out:
http://forensics.rice.edu/
This is an online game site where you can do similar things – I have been poking around on it and it’s highly educational for kids and just a lot of fun!

Rest assured I will be beating little children out of the way to get my ticket to CSI: The Experience. I mean, really, what beats crime scene investigating with the CSI Las Vegas cast? Maybe I can convince Grissom to marry me.

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