Summer SAVY 2019: Session 1, Day 1 – Forensic Science (Rising 1st/2nd)
“Did you see that?” “Look at the details we have noticed.” “I wonder if that calculator on the desk was used by the person who committed the crime to see how much time they had to take the computer and not get caught.” “I see an open part of the ceiling with latches on it. Maybe the person who committed the crime made a fast getaway through the ceiling after they took the computer!” “Look, there is a cup that was spilled over on the desk and some water leaked out. Maybe the person who committed the crime was in a hurry.” “This desk is unorganized.”
These are some of the observations and questions that were exclaimed when we walked into the crime scene room. Missing computer, caution tape across the desk, items all around. It was a detective frenzy of inferences and suppositions as we embarked on our journey with forensic science! The crime team jumped right in by setting up our crime case files. Even the best of people can become suspects, we learned. The four suspects were revealed as Sarah DeLisle (Program Director for SAVY), Rachel Morgan (PTY Enrollment Coordinator), Brooke Temple (SAVY Academics/Student Support), and Stacia Mills (SAVY Head of Academics). Who would have thought? We were all abuzz wondering who would have done it.
We must have scientific evidence to catch the right person, so we reviewed the Scientific Wheel of Investigation and Reasoning, and agreed that we have to stick to the evidence! So, we immediately learned about chromatography and how crime investigators use this technique to separate mixtures into their individual components and to analyze items found at the crime scene. Ink chromatography is where we began today so we experimented on blue ink, red ink and black ink. We then analyzed how the different inks separated into different colors, such as purple, orange, yellow, etc. Next, we practiced on the case of the missing dog and the ransom note to see if we could crack the case of which of the four suspects wrote the ransom note using one of the four different black pens that were taken by the detective. We learned just how helpful chromatography can be in solving crimes!
Tomorrow we will see what can be learned about the kind of liquid items that suspects drink and an analysis of acids and bases. We must begin narrowing down our suspects in the case of the missing computer! There is a practice task in your child’s backpack with remembering details from a crime scene. Hope you have time to try it and discuss how important observations and remembering details are when solving a crime. This is a blast and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week holds with our budding scientists!