REDDING: Young CSI’s & “Dino-Detectives” spend fun week learning about forensic science

REDDING — Children interested in learning more about forensic science enjoyed five days of science-based learning during last week’s “Crime Scene Investigators” summer camp at Turtle Bay Exploration Park’s first hands-on learning camp of the summer.

Turtle Bay’s themed summer camp programs are open to children ages 7 to 12 and feature topics that include science, the arts, history, and nature; and give campers the opportunity to learn about different subjects in a fun and exciting environment.

Taught by educators, volunteers, and professionals who work in the fields being featured, the park’s unique programs are designed to encourage campers to try new and interactive activities and experiments each day, using an innovative and hands-on learning approach that builds on each day’s prior activities.

During Turtle Bay’s first week-long program, young CSI’s learned how science is used to catch criminals and were given the opportunity to discover forensic technologies, perform different “curious” experiments, and solve “puzzling mysteries,” according to park officials.

Various activities and science projects, as well as arts and crafts, used an innovative and hands-on approach specifically designed to engage the young campers and teach them that learning can be both fun and rewarding.

During the summer camp, the children also got to be “dino-detectives,” Jan DeHate, education coordinator at Turtle Bay, recently explained. They got to be paleontologists, make fossils from plaster and modeling clay, and use proven scientific and forensic methods.

Additionally, campers had opportunities to attend Turtle Bay’s animal programs, visit the Parrot Playhouse, marvel at the park’s dinosaur exhibit, see rotating exhibits, and more; as they explored science, arts, history, and the natural world that surrounds them.

Dr. Deirdre Amaro and Deputy Coroner Investigator Teresa Cabrera of Shasta County Coroner’s Office spent several hours teaching future CSI’s about forensic science. SCSO photo

On the last day of the camp, the little learners were treated to a special visit from Shasta County Coroner officials, Dr. Deirdre Amaro and Deputy Coroner Investigator Teresa Cabrera. The pair joined the campers to discuss the work they do and how forensic science helps solve crimes daily.

Amaro and Cabrera brought props, displays, tools, and games; and spent several hours with the children teaching them about the many aspects of being a crime scene investigator.

“The Shasta County Coroner’s Office enjoys doing community outreach,” sheriff’s officials said after their department’s participation in the unique learning opportunity. “The team at the Coroner’s Office is one of the best and they welcome the opportunity to share their knowledge with the next generation while having fun and educating the community.”

Another of Turtle Bay’s recent summer camps, “Nature Explorers,” ended yesterday, and gave campers the opportunity to discover the “wild world” that surrounds them.

From birds soaring in the sky above to microbes inhabiting the earth below, campers got to dissect owl pellets, make fish prints, and experience up close encounters with some of Turtle Bay’s animal ambassadors.

Other summer camps scheduled in the upcoming weeks include “Inventor’s Workshop” July 9-13 and “A Series of Unfortunate Experiments” July 16-20. Both week-long camps, which cost $170 for members and $190 for non-members per week, are already full.

Turtle Bay Exploration Park is located at 844 Sundial Bridge Drive, in Redding, California. For more information about the park’s summer camps, museum, or other activities, call (530) 242-3108 or visit Turtle Bay Exploration Park online.


Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 46, recently moved to Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations, including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook, as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and The Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 – soon to be 15 – grandchildren.


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