CSI: Washington, D.C.

No, there’s not a new version of the hit T.V. show in the works, although I think our nation’s capital would make a great setting. The National Law Enforcement Museum is committed to exploring all aspects of law enforcement, and right now, one of the areas we’re focusing on is forensics.

I’ve written in the past about our “What’s in the Evidence?” program which is currently in beta testing. But there’s another new program in the works: an online, forensics-based activity that will allow students in grades six through eight to take a case, analyze the evidence, and then present the evidence in court, possibly leading to a conviction.

Students doing the online activity will use science reasoning skills as they work on the case. And in contrast to shows like “CSI,” “Cold Case,” or “NCIS,” they’ll have the opportunity to see how evidence is used throughout the whole law enforcement system. They’ll also get to see that not all evidence is as conclusive as the TV shows make it seem, hopefully preparing students to be more informed jurors when they get older.

We’ll be consulting closely with experts in the field as we continue to develop the program so that our activity is more authentic than many of the TV shows currently airing. But I’m curious—have you ever watched one of the forensics-themed shows and wondered whether some aspect or technique they’ve used is authentic? What aspect of forensic science fascinates you the most? If you could incorporate any type of forensic science into an activity like this, which types would you choose to feature?