New STEM program transforms Craven Co. classrooms into crime labs

VANCEBORO, N.C. (WNCT) – A statewide STEM program kicked off Thursday in Craven County.

Classrooms were transformed into crime labs just like CSI. It’s all a part of the new EASE program.

Educators hope the unique approach will inspire the seventh graders.

Evidence, DNA machines, all the things you’d see in a crime lab.

“She was in the kitchen setting up the camera’s when, the next thing you knew, she just screamed and then she was gone,” said Hailey Sutton, student.

The only difference is it happened at West Craven Middle School not on the set of CSI, But Thursday was all about pretend and students were forensic scientists.

The day’s assignment? Take all the evidence, analyze it, and solve the mystery before the school day’s over.

So why the set-up??

It’s all part of EASE, Effective Authentic Scientific Events. It’s an effort to get seventh graders excited about science and careers in STEM.

“We can read in the book all we want, but until we actually show them something and put their hands in, and get the equipment involved in it, it doesn’t really come home,” explained Joshua McGhee, teacher

Bio Network, a branch of the North Carolina Community College System wants the program to reach every seventh grader in the state.

“It’s better than reading in a textbook and just answering boring questions,” said Sabrina Kerley, student. “It needs to go in many more schools because it’s really fun.”

West Craven Middle School was the pilot program.

In the future, middle schoolers will travel to their local community college to participate in EASE.

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