STATE COLLEGE (AP) -- Student sleuths from Penn State University and their professor will star in a new cable TV reality show about forensic science.
The four-part "Crime Scene University," which will air on the Investigation Discovery channel starting July 10, follows professor Robert Shaler as he teaches 12 students his popular hands-on crime scene investigation course.
Shaler came to Penn State after retiring in 2005 as chief forensic biologist at the New York City medical examiner's office, where he led efforts to identify victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
He now teaches the forensic science course at Penn State, where some classes are taught at a "crime scene house" complete with dummies made to look like dead bodies, fake blood splatter on walls and video cameras that allow teachers to monitor how students are analyzing scenes.
The TV show followed an intensive two-month class that ended in June 2007. In each episode, two teams of students investigate a "case" and then present their findings to Shaler.
Shaler said he hopes that viewers will learn how the realities of crime scene work differ from TV dramas like "CSI."
"They're going to see how you really do this stuff and what precautions you have to take," Shaler said Thursday in a phone interview. "There is no drama involved. There is no murder you have to solve in an hour."
On the Net:
Investigation Discovery: http://investigation.discovery.com/