The exploits of forensic teams in hit TV show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation are inspiring pupils in Leeds to see science in a new light.
Youngsters at Fulneck School, in Pudsey, are relishing the chance to turn detective and learn the art of criminal investigations at a new after-school club.
The independent school’s workshops are teaching senior school students how science, primarily biology and chemistry, is put to great use outside the classroom – in solving a host of crimes.
Taking its lead from TV, the Forensic Club has already been dubbed “CSI: Pudsey” after the popular American series CSI: New York and CSI: Miami.
During the sessions, the young “scenes of crime officers” (Socos) are being taught how to use their scientific knowledge across a range of areas their textbooks don’t usually touch upon.
The youngsters have been doing everything from identifying unknown powders to collecting fingerprints.
But it’s not for the squeamish, the project has even seen them determining the time of death by using maggots.
Once they have got to grips with the basics, a mock crime scene will be created. Then, using the techniques they have learned, it will be up to the students to deduce what happened, and when.
Christopher Norris, Fulneck head of biology, said: “We started the Forensic Club at the end of the last academic year, in an effort to get students more excited about science and to raise their interest in biology and chemistry.
“It is fast becoming one of our most popular extra-curricular activities.
“Thanks to the Forensic Club, the pupils are seeing science in a different light and it really is stimulating learning.
Mr Norris said the youngsters were enjoying the chance to be like TV detectives.
“Many of them regularly watch TV programmes such as CSI: Miami and CSI: New York.
“By being in this club they are now part of CSI: Pudsey – and each week they take the leading role in their own crime story.”
Mr Norris said future plans included arranging a visit from a real scenes of crime officer.