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Gifted and Talented Summer Camp a Success at EKU Danville

Gifted and Talented Summer Camp a Success at EKU Danville

 Thirteen energetic middle grade students from three counties took part in the 2014 “Project Discovery” Summer Camp at the EKU Danville Regional Campus June 9—13. 

Instructor Mary Lamar, from EKU’s Chemistry Department, led the students through the week-long course in “CSI—Crime Scene Investigators.” Using a series of forensic experiments, the students first determined the identity of a “murder victim” and then investigated several “suspects,” all of whom were members of EKU’s Regional Stewardship and Danville staffs. The experiments included activities in 

  • Deductive reasoning,
  • Sketching a crime scene,
  • Reading body language to determine guilt,
  • Interviewing skills,
  • Forging documents,
  • Fingerprinting,
  • Hair analysis,
  • Identifying a mystery powder,
  • Forensic anthropology and identifying a body from skeletal remains, and
  • Blood spatter analysis.

On the final day of camp, the students’ parents were invited in for a pizza lunch and a presentation by students on how they conducted their experiments and how they identified the “murderer.”

Comments from students and their parents indicated the camp was a huge success. One student remarked that the experience “was so much fun because there was no pressure to take a test; I don’t want it to end!” Another mentioned “how fun it was to learn new things in Science with other kids like me.” Several parents shared that their kids had “talked about the experiments all week!” Research has shown that this type of facilitated project-based activity produces more active and long-lasting learning for students than straight lecture methods.

The camp was funded with a grant from EKU’s Center for Appalachian Regional Engagement and Stewardship (CARES) to give middle grade students fun, hands-on learning activities that extend beyond the typical classroom experience. More camps are planned for Summer 2015.


First Photo Caption: Students William Rayens and John P. Hughes examine hair samples with a microscope.


Second Photo Caption: Student McKenzie Settles looks over her collection of fingerprint samples as she plans her presentation on the evidence.

Published on June 19, 2014

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