What is ICSI?


Promoting both an increased understanding of basic science principles and encouraging access to the performing arts for all students, Passado Action Theatre has created the Interactive Crime Scene Investigation program

The PAT-ICSI program is designed with the California CORE curriculum and the guiding principles of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) in mind. Forensic studies (known colloquially as CSI, or Crime Scene Investigation) is a popular subject in entertainment and a growing interest for college-bound students. By combining several areas of forensic investigation with math, science, and the arts, we have created a hands-on learning experience that promotes several areas of science and engineering practice as put forward by the NGSS standards, including critical thinking and scientific inquiry, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, and engaging in argument from evidence. Adding the dramatic component of professional actors to provide interactive characters for each unit allows for the integration of the arts into an engaging science curriculum, and creates a real-world environment for the practical application of communication skills outlined in the speaking and listening components of the CORE standards.

How does ICSI work?
Each unit is structured with the same five components:

  1. Scene: We begin with an active “crime scene”, with professional actors from Passado on hand as witnesses, suspects and law enforcement agents

  2. Plan: The students, acting as forensic investigators, sort through the evidence and testimony

  3. Experiment/Research: science and math students carry out their planned experiment(s) to test the evidence and collect data, while ELA and HSS research the concepts of due process, trial procedures and the Bill of Rights

  4. Analysis/Trial Preparation: results from their experiments are analyzed and/or compared to other information provided to formulate a hypothesis, then used to develop prosecution and defense arguments

  5. Present: Passado Action Theatre returns to simulate a bench trial, in which the science and math students present their evidence, ELA students prosecute the suspect, and HSS students act as client defense, and the suspect is either found guilty or innocent

ICSI is in the following schools:

Cheviot Hills


Mt. Lukens

Highland Park

Eagle Rock

Toland Way

Boyle Heights




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Contact us to learn more about bringing this program to your school.

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