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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Clayton Intermediate students learn forensics, history of fingerprinting

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  • A group of students at Clayton Intermediate School learned about the history of fingerprinting Thursday during a visit from state fingerprinting analyst Rodney Hegman.
    Hegman works for the State Bureau of Identification.
    The program was put on for students involved in the Student Triad Enrichment Program (S.T.E.P.).
    S.T.E.P. is a program designed to challenge students and help them reach their maximum potential, according to CIS teacher Irene Buscemi. Topics covered in S.T.E.P. mainly cover social studies/history and science. Buscemi and teacher Katie Shannon compiled information from a variety of resources to create a unit on forensic science for the fifth and sixth graders in the program. Buscemi teachers the fifth grade S.T.E.P., while Shannon teaches the sixth grade S.T.E.P. students.
    As part of the forensic science unit, the students went on a field trip to the Crime Museum in Washington, D.C. in February. Then the teachers decided to have a guest speaker come to class to enhance the unit and provide the kids with hands-on knowledge about forensic science, Buscemi said. The school's resource officer Bruce Graham, who also works at Clayton Elementary and Providence Creek Academy, helped to set up the visit from fingerprint analyst Rodney Hegman.
    Students in the program had already learned about fingerprinting, analyzing handwriting, forgery of print and typewritten documents, and the variety of career fields in forensic science. Therefore, Hegman's visit complimented what the students had already learned.
    And there were plenty of questions to ask as Hegman field questions left and right about his work from his hardest case to whether or not any of his cases involved juvenile suspects.
    Hegman told the students about several cases including the case of a cat burglar who took his socks off to cover his hands, but police were still able to identify him with his footprint. He also told them of one story where a murder case took 15 years to solve.
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