CSI: The Experience
CSI: The Experience is a traveling exhibition about crime lab forensic science and technology inspired by the hit television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Development and location
The exhibit was developed for the Science Museum Exhibit Collaborative by the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in partnership with CBS Consumer Products and the National Science Foundation, which provided $2.4 million in funding for both the exhibit and a CSI "Web Adventure" targeted to underserved youth. Approved by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the exhibit was developed and designed by numerous partners.
This is not the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History's first venture into the world of forensic science. The Museum also developed the exhibit, Whodunit? The Science of Solving Crime in 1993 for the Science Museum Exhibit Collaborative and it has been touring science centers since. Advances in DNA science and information technology have dramatically changed the field of forensic science, leading to the new exhibit on the topic.
CSI: The Experience debuted at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry in May 2007 and opened in the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History's new facility in November 2009. CSI: The Experience is currently touring museums and science centers across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Starting October 1, 2011, it will be at Discovery Times Square in New York City.
As of May 25, 2013 it is back home and on display in the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History until September.
Features and content
CSI: The Experience starts with a video briefing. The new recruits start their investigation in one of three crime scenes: a suburban living room with a car crashed through it, a hotel alley, and a remote desert. In each, visitors are challenged to identify and gather evidence; analyze materials with the help of the latest scientific and technological advances; formulate hypotheses about the crime; and confirm and communicate their findings.
CSI: The Experience features 2 separate crime labs ("trace evidence" and "forensic analysis") and an autopsy room where visitors can explore the state-of-the-art technology used in evidence analysis. In order to trace vehicle tracks, clothing fibers, and paint chips in the first lab, museum-goers will collect data from microscope analysis to determine where matches occur and how they contribute to the larger hypothesis. Here, visitors can also evaluate digital evidence provided by cell phones and other electronics, in addition to hard evidence such as fingerprints, blood patterns, and ammunition casings.
In a second laboratory space, visitors examine forensic art as they study age progression and attempt to match an image with a victim. Visitors will study DNA evidence and experience an autopsy for pathology analysis. At the end of CSI: The Experience, visitors use the scientific information they gathered to answer a series of multiple-choice questions on touch screens. After completing the survey, visitors proceed to a recreation of Gil Grissom's office to present their case. Exhibit-goers can compare their scientific findings to those of expert crime scene investigators.
The exhibit is geared toward adults and youth ages 12 and above.
Cast and crew promote exhibit
CSI: The Experience opened with a press preview on May 23, 2007 at the Museum of Science and Industry which was attended by stars from the cast of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, including William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger, Gary Dourdan, Jorja Fox, George Eads, Wallace Langham, Eric Szmanda, and Robert David Hall. After the ribbon cutting, several members of the cast took a tour of the interactive exhibit.
Awards and recognition
- "Crack the Case at the Museum of Science and Industry". (May 25, 2007). CBS Consumer Products Release. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
- "CSI: The Experience". U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
- Walter, Charlie. "Whodunit? The Science of Solving Crime." Are We There Yet?: Conversations about Best Practices in Science Exhibition Development. Eds. Kathleen McLean and Catherine McEver. Washington, D.C.: Association of Science – Technology Centers, 2004. Print. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
- Wilson, Ellen S. (September/October 1999). "Whodunit? The Science of Solving Crime". Carnegie Magazine. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
- "Fact Sheet". CSI: The Experience. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
- "Locations/Schedule". CSI: The Experience. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
- "Tickets on Sale Now for CSI: The Experience at New York's Discovery Times Square". (September 15, 2011). PR Newswire. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
- "Exhibit Walk-Through". CSI: The Experience. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
- Moore, Laura (May 24, 2007). "CSI Stars Spend a Night at the Museum". TV Guide. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
- "14th Annual Thea Awards (2008)". Themed Entertainment Association. Retrieved July 4, 2011.