Tamaqua area elementary students got a taste of what it's like to be a criminal investigator. The West Penn Township Police Department hosted its 7th annual CSI camp to show students the world of forensics. Each day is something new for the kids during the week long camp.
You do not have to be a kid to learn something new. They're learning about fingerprinting, blood spatter, crash scenes, and how to use drones among other things..
"We are bringing the kids in to so they can have a little sneak peak on everything that we do and let them have some hands on experience doing it as well." said Sergeant Jason Lorah.
Lorah explains to the kids what exactly crime scene investigating is all about and how to keep an eye open for anything unusual. Students like Gavin Edmonds learned how state police fire marshals look for clues to solve how fires start.
"Awesome, I learned that fire can be caused by little things but it gets big and worse." Edmonds said.
This is Natiya Adams' second year in a row at the CSI camp. Inspired by her favorite TV show, she's fallen in love with forensics.
"I've been watching NCIS a lot and the reason I came here is because we do all forensic stuff." Adams said, "My favorite person on it is the forensic scientist Abby Sciuto. And I wanted to come here to be a forensic scientist."
When students get really excited and passionate about police work, there's a sense of pride for Lorah and everyone who donates their time to teach the kids.
"The greatest thing in the world is the Ah-Ha factor." Lorah said, "When you're explaining something to them and all a sudden they go 'Oh, I get it' and that is the coolest feeling, ya know?"
Beyond presenting the world of forensics to young minds, this camp helps students become familiar with the law enforcement and first responders in their community.
Adams said, "My dad's in the air force, so whenever I go with him I kind of see some police officers but I don't really get to talk to them." and Edmonds said, "It was good and like you said I don't talk to police officer a lot."
Lorah said putting police and other criminal professionals in front of kids at an early age is important to show that officers and others are more than a uniform and a badge.
"I come walking on scene or any of the other officers it makes them feel comfortable immediately." Lorah said, "They know you, they got this comfort level with you. And that helps break down barriers."
On Wednesday the kids will see a Medevac crew fly down onto to a mock accident scene and a K9 dog will attack an officer in a bite suit on Thursday.