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Learning is the bomb: Explosives experts teach Valencia High students

Posted: October 27, 2009 10:18 p.m.
Updated: October 28, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Valencia High School junior Connor Lichten, tries on a bomb squad suit during a presentation Tuesday morning in teacher Marcy Calnan's U.S. History class. The suit itself weighs 90 pounds.

 
For about 40 U.S. History students at Valencia High School, Tuesday's class was a bit different than usual.

They learned about the dangers of bombs and explosives and were taught by Sgt. Mike Costleigh and Detective Rick Velasquez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Arson Explosive Detail.

In an outdoor demonstration, Costleigh, a Valencia resident, gave students a tour of the Bomb Squad's response van and the $190,000 robot used by the department to handle bomb calls.

Students and teacher Marcy Calnan were fitted with the Bomb Squad's uniform and gear, which weighs about 90 pounds.

The helmet added another 20 pounds.

"It was a cool experience," junior Bradley Picard said after trying on the uniform.

"It felt like I was carrying someone on my back."

Calnan hoped the interactive lesson was an eye-opening experience for the students.

"I really hope they understand how we've progressed," she said.

At the same time, Calnan wanted Tuesday's lesson to show students the number of career options available within law enforcement, she said.

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