Science & Forensics


Renaissance Teen Science and Forensics Camp July 20-24


Participants in this camp will receive an introduction to some of the scientific testing and techniques used in the world of forensic science. They will learn how to analyze blood types, extract DNA and create a model of a cell. They will take part in a variety of other science experiments as well. Participants will also learn about gathering evidence as they investigate a mock crime scene. Activities will be led by the Renaissance Camp staff with special presentations by local law enforcement agencies and members of the ETSU faculty. They will also visit the American Museum of Atomic Energy in Oak Ridge, TN.



With the popularity of the television show CSI and the keen interest in the Gray Fossil Site, the Science and Forensics Camp has become very popular. The session in the summer of 2005 was filled to capacity (21 students).

Although the students are under the impression that we will take a field trip to the Body Farm at the University of Tennessee, we do not! The students take part in activities which teach basic forensic skills; finger printing, fiber analysis, blood typing, DNA extraction and the lifting of foot prints. They are also given an opportunity to create and solve a mock crime scene. Guest speakers and special instructors have led these activities. These instructors have included detectives from Public Safety at East Tennessee State University and the Johnson City Police Department, an agent from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, a graduate student in Forensic Chemistry, a Health Sciences professor, a Biology professor and a member of the underwater rescue team.

The students are equally interested in archeology, geology and paleontology and have been eager to visit the Gray Fossil Site. Larry Bristol has worked with the camp to allow the students the opportunity to tour the site. He has also made presentations to the campers at ETSU and allowed them to view the bones and fossils found there at the dig site. 

The campers also have taken field trips to Bays Mountain where they have attended programs given by the park’s naturalists. In 2003, the Science and Forensics Camps attended the Knoxville Zoo’s Bedtime With the Beasts Program. This is an overnight program which is lead by instructors form the zoo.

The programs and activities for the Science and Forensics camps have been planned by the Program Coordinator in the Office of Professional Development and by a graduate assistant in that office.