MCC Extends Deadline for Free High School CSI Program

(Bradenton, Fla., June 17, 2009) - Manatee Community College (MCC) has extended the deadline to apply for the CSI summer program for gifted and/or high-achieving high school students until July 2.

Funded by a grant from the Florida Department of Education's Governor's Summer Program, "Fishing for the Truth: Multidisciplinary Explorations of an Environmental Crime Scene Investigation," will be held July 6 to July 30 at MCC Bradenton, 5840 26th St. West. Program sessions will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

As many as 24 qualified students from high schools in Manatee and Sarasota counties may participate. Natural science and mathematics skills will be honed as students collect evidence, sketch the crime scene, and use state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques and special software for analysis and comparison of DNA results. Students will present an analysis of evidence and closing arguments to a state prosecuting attorney, who will assess their use of organization, critical thinking and presentation skills. In addition, students will have the opportunity to go on several field trips associated with crime scene investigation.

MCC faculty members involved in the program include Dr. David Friedenbach, CSI program director;  Dr. Andrew Swanson, assistant professor, natural science; Jane Pfeilsticker, associate professor, biology, natural science; Jay Odaffer, faculty, natural science; and Joel Thurmond, faculty, natural science. Additionally, guests from local, state and national agencies will discuss investigative methods, forensics, national security, and other crime-solving methodology.

Earlier this year, MCC received the 2009 Innovation of the Year Award from the League for Innovation in the Community College for the program, which has been available to students for the past four summers.

"This is a wonderfully rewarding and educational experience for everyone involved," Friedenbach said. "Students work in teams and there is a healthy competition between them. They have a lot of fun and learn a lot in the process." 

For more information or to apply, call (941) 752-5290 or visit Maps and directions are online at

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