Connecting YouthQuest and Home: CSI, YQ Style

It’s time for YouthQuest students to dust off their magnifying glasses and get to work.

In December, students will be hone their detective skills through several Crime Scene Investigation-themed activities.

“This is a fun way to teach students about critical thinking,” said LaKeitha Givens, YouthQuest Program Director. “We’re shining a light on problem solving, observation and more.”

Over the next few weeks, students will learn what facts are, and how detectives use clues and evidence to solve crimes. For example:

  • Students in grades K-2 will examines a bag of “family” trash looking to establish information about the family. For instance, if they find an empty bag of dog food, students will be able to infer—or conclude from evidence and reasoning—that the family has a dog.
  • Acting as CSI agents, students in 3-6 grades will be presented with several mini-mysteries and challenged to solve each case using observation and problem-solving skills.

To extend your child’s learning beyond YouthQuest, families can use some of the following activities to keep youth engaged at home in the evenings and weekends:

  • Listen more than you talk. Let your child struggle through the problem–be their support without giving them the answers.
  • Ask open-ended questions like, “How do detectives solve crimes? What clues did you learn about today at YouthQuest? What do you see? What do you think happened?”
  • Find patterns. Whatever you’re doing—whether it’s going to the park or watching television—

encourage your children to look for patterns or make connections for critical thinking practice.


Rather than use themes, YouthQuest’s middle and high school programs focus on helping students build college and career-ready skills. At Northwestern High School, for instance, students will focus on STEM activities—such as building and testing small trampoline models. This project will evolve from the scientific method and requires students to develop a question/purpose, hypothesis, experiment, analysis, data collection and conclusion. Afterward, they will present their findings to students, staff and YQ administrators. To build on their enthusiasm at home, encourage your student to share their findings with you and your family.

YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.