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forensic science camp students in the science lab

Move Over Nancy Drew – The Next Generation of Sleuths and Scientists Tackle TU’s Summer Camp

It comes as no surprise that a career in forensic science or criminal investigation isn’t for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. The mere sight of an active crime scene or of human remains is enough to send most running for the hills. That said, those who not only tolerate this work, but find it deeply fulfilling have the constitution to provide one of the most necessary services in existence – figuring out whodunit.

This is exactly why the Tiffin University School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences created an initiative to encourage those with natural interests in this line of work, to nurture curiosity and refine talents. It was through this desire to coach the up-in-coming that the TU Forensic Science and Criminalistics Academy summer camp program was born. As its name suggests, the Academy focuses on teaching high school participants everything from how a body decomposes under different circumstances to deception detection protocol when interviewing criminal suspects.

“We recognize the importance of intertwining the fields of forensic science and criminalistics, which are also two of our strongest programs at TU,” said Dr. Pete Piraino, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Security Studies and Interim Dean for TU’s School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences. “The 2022 Academy was a great success with high school students earning college credit and gaining hands-on experience in anthropology, DNA use in investigations, crime scene preservation, chromatography, autopsy, digital forensics, drone use in investigations, criminal courtroom proceedings and more. At least 20 TU faculty members and several of our community partners took part in the camp. We are already excited about the 2023 Forensic Science and Criminalistics Academy scheduled for next summer.”

The Academy’s overnight program lasted four days, and high school participants were able to get their first taste of the college life by staying in TU’s residence halls between sessions.

“It is encouraging to see firsthand that so many young people have taken an interest in the fields

of forensic science and criminalistics,” said Dr. Peter J. Holbrook, Provost and Chief Academic Officer. “Furthermore, I have every confidence that these high school students will go on to college and eventually have successful careers in this industry – one that is so important for the wellbeing of our society. Their aptitude for the subject matter extends far beyond what is expected of those in this age group, and the TU Community is excited to see what they will accomplish in the years to come. We are honored to have played a small part in their respective journeys.”

For more information about next year’s Academy program, email Pete Piraino at or check out the summer camp information page here