Twenty-two Westfield students participated in a day of investigation held at Union County College on Jan. 8.  The students, who are enrolled in the gifted pull-out program in Westfield, joined more than 100 sixth graders from other public school districts in the county at the event organized by Westfield teacher Esther J. Van Riper, a long-time member of the Union County Gifted and Talented Association (UCGTA).

“The students were introduced to Forensic Science, the FBI, and CSI work by two FBI special agents from New York, Agent Shawn Mullen (pictured here) and Agent Sam Lockery,” explained Van Riper. “After the students became familiarized with 'The Case of the Missing Millionaire’ in the College Student Center, they broke out into smaller groups in classrooms where they were given time to observe two simulated identical crime scenes. Next, the students conducted forensic labs to evaluate the evidence found at the scene of the crime to make multiple direct connections to the suspects who committed the crime and to solve the case.”

The purpose of the UCGTA events is for identified gifted and talented students from the various schools in Union County to meet and to work together.