SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Over 50 high school students from across the western U.S. met in Salt Lake City today for an FBI Teen Academy.

Students from Idaho, Montana, and Utah met with FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) agents, specialists, and technicians for the first in-person Teen Academy since the pandemic.

Students heard presentations on violent and cyber crimes, interacted with a prepared “crime scene” to learn about fingerprinting and alternate light sources, did a physical fit test, and witnessed a SWAT demonstration.

FBI Evidence Technician Chris Duhame said it’s important to give interested students an inside look into the FBI while they are young to encourage them to make the right decisions. He said the FBI has “rigorous standards” to meet and the Teen Academy can help motivate them to stay out of trouble and focused so they can have a chance to work there in the future.

In order to qualify to apply, FBI candidates cannot have used any illegal drug, other than marijuana, for 10 years prior to applying. They also cannot have a criminal record or an unsafe driving record.

All participating students of the Teen Academy had to fill out an application to be part of the event, it was not however a requirement to be interested in criminal justice.

Evan Kulp, a 16-year-old student at the Teen Academy, said he’s been interested in forensic science since elementary school but he recommends the academy to everyone regardless of their interests.

“The FBI has so many positions, it’s kind of for everyone if you’re up for it,” Kulp said.

You can find more information on FBI outreach programs here.