On January 23, twenty-eight Junior Girl Scouts in Kentucky became pretend Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) for a night. The program was made possible through a partnership with iSPACE, a non-profit organization that provides educational programs to communities, families and schools in the Greater Cincinnati area.
Nancy Rogers accompanied the fourth and fifth grade girls, stimulating both their creativity and critical thinking skills, as well as pushing them to think “outside the box.” Rogers, who has been a Girl Scout since 1952, enjoys working with children and has a particular soft spot in her heart when it comes to encouraging young girls to have a more active interest in science subjects, because when she was growing up, there was bias regarding gender.
“I come from a time when girls might have thought about being an astronaut, but would have never attempted it,” she admits. “In my chemistry class, I think there were only three girls. All the rest were boys.”
This is a reality she is striving to change through programs like those offered by iSPACE, which focus on teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in a fun learning environment. In many instances, she admits, participants don’t even realize that they’re learning.
For the members of the Northern Kentucky’s Girl Scouts troop who participated in the event, the girls learned how to reconstruct the crime, retrace the perpetrator’s steps and analyze every bit of evidence for DNA and other clues that would lead them to the final solution of the case. For over two hours, they were continuously encouraged to think, observe and “break the code.”
“It’s really fun to find out whose fingerprint it was or whose hair it was. It makes me feel like I’m a real detective,” one of the girls said.
“I have a feeling we are going to be getting books about DNA, evidence and science,” one mother added, stating that she was impressed by her daughter’s newfound interest in crime investigation and science in general.