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Middle School Students Delve Into Crime

Elaine Loft
One of the most popular middle school Exploration courses is Crime Scene Investigation (CSI), team-taught by Dean of Students and Director of Security & Crisis Management Gillian Roberts and Director of Athletics Chris Hettler. Exploration courses are designed to immerse students and faculty in experiences and pursuits that inspire new interests, broaden skills, and sharpen awareness of the community outside of the classroom. Rooted in academic and real world skills, the courses encourage students and faculty to take risks, be playful, and venture into new territory. 

In CSI, students explore different methods used to solve real life crimes. Techniques examined include: hair sampling, fingerprinting and tire-track analysis as well as ABO blood typing and bullet trajectory tracing. On November 16, the last class of the fall term, the students were visited by two members of the NH State Police Major Crimes Unit, Sgt. Mallory Littman and Trooper Kevin Pratt. The primary responsibility of Major Crimes is homicide investigation, with specialized units for crime scene services, computer crime analysis, cold case investigation, and searching for missing persons.

In their presentation, Sgt. Littman and Trooper Pratt enlightened the students about the methods used to gather information at a crime scene, and also explained the difference between being a field technician and a lab technician. Both Littman and Pratt then presented two case studies. The students listened avidly to Trooper Pratt’s recounting of a burglary he pursued and resolved in Keene, and Sgt. Littman’s dramatic tale of a long-missing man whose body (and truck) were dredged from the Androscoggin River. 

The middle school audience (and a small crowd of faculty and staff visitors) were clearly captivated by the insider view of the world of CSI–with several wondering aloud about future careers as crime fighters.
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The Derryfield School

2108 River Road, Manchester, NH 03104     p: 603.669.4524     f: 603.625.9715