Watching CSI on TV is one thing. Putting it all into practice is another.
The Armidale School (TAS) opened its campus to dozens of crime fighters who explored crime scenes during forensic science week.
The week-long camp was devoted to investigation and evidence collection before students put their case to 'a magistrate' at the end of the week.
"There are murders, robberies and other crimes to be solved in six different scenarios," Co-director Kade Stanley said.
"Through the week the campers are given new evidence and use the labs for DNA, blood and fibre testing, cryptography and fingerprinting to help them come up with the culprit, developing their scientific skills along the way."
The forensic science camp included Year 8 participants from 28 independent, government and catholic schools from NSW, Queensland, the ACT and Victoria.
"Part of what makes it unique is that it is student-run, with five Year 10 students in charge of managing the camp and the Year 9 camp controllers who have created the scenarios that are to be solved by the teams of Year 8 campers," the camp's co-director, TAS student Hudson McAllister, said.
There are 81 students involved with six crime scenarios. They are lead by 'the controllers' who participated last year and they have spent eleven months preparing the design, choosing participants from submitted applications and running this year's camp.
The development of arrest and search warrants was a particularly sophisticated feature of the tasks set by the controllers.
Students learn about the different stages of crime investigation, from search and arrest warrants to evidence collecting and testing, for each crime scenario.
Armidale solicitor Michael Dennis took on the role of a magistrate making a final determination, if the cases were strong enough to go before a court.
"By the end of the week the students will have a clearer idea about forensics as a career, have developed good thinking and organisation skills and made some really strong friendships," Kade said.