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SMC puts on ‘CSI: Live’ show for children

Alicia Smith | Monday, February 22, 2010

Complete with a smoke machine and special effects lighting, children were given a hands-on learning experience with CSI: Live.

The show was recommended for children ages 8 and over and was presented Friday in the O’Laughlin Auditorium at Saint Mary’s College. The show offered kids an experience where they could “enter the fascinating world of crime scene investigations through an exciting, interactive journey led by our CSI team,” according to promotional fliers.

The show led the audience through the investigation of a crime scene. Actors Theresa Noon and Bear Schaal played the two crime scene investigators, Sydney Mathis and David Hart.

The crime: A magician picks an audience member to participate in a trick that results in foul play. Mathis and Hart are called to investigate the scene, and ask the young audience to assist. 

“I think the kids enjoyed the show. They really got into it. When they asked for volunteers they were jumping up and down and jumping on seats,” sophomore Jordan Bartrom, who attended the performance, said.

When called on stage, kids were given special goggles, hats and CSI coats so they appeared to be part of the investigative team.

During the performance, Hart and Mathias gave helpful pointers for solving crimes and uncovering clues within a crime scene.

“A witness statement is one of the most important elements in finding suspects,” Mathias said during the performance.

Though only some members of the audience were called on stage, the entire audience was utilized for participation. Audience members were asked to stand, shout out answers and were asked to clap and cheer for the person who was the most-likely suspect.

“I think the audience enjoyed it because it was so hands-on and they could participate in it. And it was something cool. They were helping to solve a crime,” Bartrom said.

Mathias and Hart also demonstrated many different techniques for investigating a crime. Hart explained that by using luminol, a chemical substance that is used by forensic investigators to detect blood, and a black light, traces of blood can be identified. 

The investigating team also demonstrated the use of an air-powered cannon. Hart and Mathias put a flashlight in the cannon and shot it through a piece of wood and then through a watermelon.

Throughout the performance, the audience was able to watch a large screen that was on stage to see messages from the crime lab. The screen also presented quizzes and gave instant replays of some of the experiments that Mathias and Hart performed.

At the end of the performance, the suspect who committed the crime was caught and Hart and Mathias displayed the evidence that they had found while working at the crime scene.