Over the last few months, the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) on OHSU’s West Campus, has opened its doors to numerous interns, volunteers, and local elementary school students. One of our favorites: a”Who stole the pizza?” Crime Scene Investigation Party.
At the party, 22 fifth graders got to be CSI investigators for the day, with help from Primate Center employees Carrie Hanna, PhD; Julie Hollister-Smith, PhD; Ev McClendon, PhD; Tiffany Adevai; Summer Street, MPH; Diana Gordon, MAT; and Rachel Sanchez, PhD; along with assistance from Sheriff Mark White of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Department and Mike Collins, from Vernier Software and Technology.
In the process of their investigation, students learned about the unreliability of eyewitness accounts. They also also ran a DNA gel, examined hair samples, learned about blood typing and simple genetic traits, and lifted latent fingerprints. Using a logic matrix as their tool, they eventually identified the culprit: A dog owned by a certain Primate Center employee.
The event was so successful the group has repeated it three times this summer, and is currently working on another activity involving a theme of endangered species. For more information, or if you’re interested in participating in a future event, contact Diana Gordon.