CSHS CSI: Natural causes or foul play?
By Annette Tait
Agriculture education students recently made a grim discovery when they entered the Center-Stanton High School shop – the “body” of a (plush, stuffed) puppy lay dead on the floor amid a variety of objects. Was the “death” from natural causes, or was foul play involved?
Thus began the CSHS CSI – crime scene investigation – case to determine if the puppy died of natural causes, or if one or more of the items found at the scene, and/or other factors, contributed to its death.
“They were CSI investigators and had to investigate the crime scene,” Agriculture Education Instructor Nikki Fideldy said. “They had to consider items found at the scene, including cat food, a length of rope, a knife, and a flea and tick product.”
Students began by developing a hypothesis as to what might have occurred, then conducted a series of experiments to determine if their theory was valid. They also took other factors into consideration, such as a recent vaccination, comparison with a litter mate the dead puppy had been housed with, and its owners’ poor relationship with a neighbor.
CSI agents Dawson Bohrer and Amber Frank believed the puppy was allergic to the recent vaccination, which ultimately led to the untimely death. CSI partner teams Abby Hintz and Teegan Henke, and Mykaela Jacobson and Cody Helmers, had similar hypotheses, believing that the puppy got into both the flea and tick medication that was lying on the ground and the nearby cat food, and died from a combination of poisoning and overeating.