KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville summer camp is getting teens excited about science early on.

When you hear shows like CSI, oftentimes they glorify forensics when really the science is much more complicated. At Pellissippi State Community College, high schoolers are learning how to collect and analyze potential evidence from a crime scene. 

“They got to take simulated blood and do hands-on experiments, where they got to do drips and they measured it. They looked at satellites,” said Donna Trogdon, a Criminal Justice Professor at PSCC. 

Trogdon is teaching campers how science and the law intersect. During the three-day camp, teens with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley collect evidence, lift fingerprints, analyze blood spatter and cast footprints. 

“Seeing how much they retained from the academic piece was impressive because they were pointing out, ‘hey this one the footprint is fading, so it means they are either running out of whatever the liquid saturation was or it’s dry’,” said Trogdon.

Trogdon’s approach to forensic science is hands-on. She wants to show them science is more complicated than what you see on television. 

“They all watch the shows. Everybody watches the CSI and all the shows being able to actually see it, do it, touch it, changes the level interest of interest in a lot of ways,” said Trogdon. 

At the end of the lab work, students present their findings and Trogdon gets to watch everything click. 

“They were getting it and it was really evident by hearing them explain what the exercises they already accomplished were,” said Trogdon. 

Trogdon says several campers told her they’re interested in attending Pellissippi State to study criminal justice. 

More education stories from WATE 6 Anchor Allison Smith

Visit for more information on future summer camps through the Boys and Girls Clubs.