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Forensic investigators at Kristin More than 300 budding investigators came together from all over New Zealand over the July holidays for Forensics@Kristin, an intensive, student-led programme that challenges participants to solve complex simulated homicide cases. Gifted students from primary, intermediate and secondary schools across the country came to embrace the challenge and test their problem-solving, research, logic and creative skills at this unique and exciting camp. Split into three different camp experiences, Forensics@Kristin includes a five-day experience for students in years 5-10, a one-day Junior Edition for years 3-8, and a five-day Senior Scholars’ Edition for selected students in years 11-13. Joining together as teams of Detectives, the students had three days to work through their cases. They utilised forensic techniques such as fingerprint testing and DNA analysis, and the multitude of resources, skills and intelligence at their disposal to sort the evidence from the red herrings and direct their own lines of inquiry. Their investigations culminated in a simulated court trial where detectives became defence and prosecution lawyers, interviewing key witnesses and arguing their side of the case. The 15 participants in the Senior Scholars’ camp acted as expert scientific witnesses in the mock court trials. In an extraordinary


simulation, the Senior Scholars’ investigation included the discovery and subsequent examination of a burial site in relation to their homicide scenario, and their evidence was critical for the prosecution of many of the Detective teams’ cases. Over the course of the week, participants had the opportunity to meet with specialists from the field who explained the real-life application of what they were learning and the realities of forensic investigation. The complex scenarios were designed by a team of students in the roles of Controllers and Scenario Doctors. These students, mostly in years 9 and 10, had been selected from the best of previous years’ Detectives. They

invested many weeks in preparing the scenarios and related evidence and were kept busy throughout the week, generating information and responding to the many lines of enquiry from the Detective teams. An additional team of students was responsible for the logistics of running the camp. This included catering for all of the participants and supervising teams, overseeing the science laboratories and general day-to-day business of running the camp. While staff were on hand to help and guide as necessary, it was the students who led the camp, addressed the participants and took responsibility for its ultimate success. Forensics coordinator and GATE teacher Raewyn Casey says it is the student leadership that makes

the Kristin Forensics camp so unique. “This is the only programme on this scale in New Zealand that is entirely student-led. Although teachers are there to provide guidance, the complete control of the experience is handed over to the students. They learn skills of managing small and large groups and have to communicate with a variety of companies and many different adults. “The skills they are learning, especially when there is a problem to solve, will remain with them for life. I am always amazed at how capable the students are and the high level of commitment we see from them.”

Awards to include Teachers’ Choice winners A judging panel of education experts is to be joined by teachers from across New Zealand to select category winners for the 2015 CLNZ Education Awards. For the first time, the awards will feature Teachers’ Choice winners for the best resources in primary education, secondary education and Te Reo Maori. The CLNZ Education Awards are a celebration of the excellent educational resources New Zealand companies have recently released in the New Zealand education market. Submissions for the 2015 awards are open

school news

Term 3 - 2015

and the closing date for entries is August 31, 2015. This year CLNZ are seeking the hands-on, in-classroom experience of practising teachers across the country. Teachers will be asked to have their say by voting online for the resources submitted to the awards that they find the most useful in their classrooms. Copyright Licensing NZ (CLNZ) CEO Paula Browning says: “We’re very proud of the work New Zealand publishers and other resource developers are doing in the education market. The CLNZ Education Awards have a strong

tradition of recognising those that are doing something new and responsive to meet the needs of students and teachers in New Zealand classrooms. “This year we are adding the hands-on experience of classroom teachers in our new Teachers’ Choice categories to recognise the new resources that teachers themselves find most helpful in their teaching practice. We want as many teachers as possible to have their say and vote.” Teachers’ Choice voting will available online from September 14.

2015 categories In 2015 the judging panel will choose category winners in the following categories (those marked * will also have a Teachers’ Choice winner). • Best Resource in Primary* • Best Resource in Secondary * • Best Resource in Te Reo Maori* • Best Resource in Higher Education • Best Resource for Export The full list of application criteria and entry forms are available at

School News - Term 3 - 2015  

Issue: 30

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