Summer SAVY 2019: Session 1, Day 4 – Forensic Science (Rising 1st/2nd)
We can’t believe that the case has not been cracked yet, but we are getting closer! Our first order of seeking new evidence was to try to identify the person who wrote the note yesterday. We pulled out our chromatography tools and got to work. After testing the four pens that were found on the desks of each suspect and then testing the pen that was used to wrote the note, the team was able to eliminate two suspects. There was a lot of discussion regarding the remaining two suspects and the team could not agree. It was then when one of the team members suggested that we take the remaining two pens and write with them next to the note. The team agreed that was a good idea, so that is what we did! That move convinced the majority that it was suspect four, but a few team mates still believed it was suspect one. We agreed that detectives don’t have to always agree, so the final count of evidence was recorded as nine believing that the person who wrote the note was suspect four, and five detectives still believed that the writing was more like suspect one.
Now it was time to call a crime team meeting to share where we were with the evidence so far and who looked guilty. We sat in a circle and members began stating their thoughts with evidence, and others responded about whether or not they agreed. The team is not at a consensus yet, but we are beginning to focus our hypotheses based more on scientific evidence, than perceptions. When I asked what forensic science technique we haven’t used to help crack the case, several students replied, fingerprinting.
Of course that was the technique we then focused on! We looked at our fingertips with a hand lens and everyone noticed what they described as lines that swirl around. When we did an activity to show how we can grab paper more tightly and hold on with our fingertips than with our bent knuckles, there was an ah ha moment when we learned that our fingertips have friction ridges with raised strips on the top of them! Then we knew why fingertips are used for fingerprinting. We acquainted ourselves with the three types of patterns on fingertips and looked at them, so the next step was to try and identify our own fingerprints! That was a lot of fun and it showed us why there are fingerprinting experts. It was time to reveal the fingerprints of out four suspects! We looked them over carefully and then we looked at them under microscopes. The lines were really cool to see and we felt that we were getter closer to expert level on identifying the types of fingertips.
With one day left to go, we are really hoping to be able to crack the case using scientific evidence! At 10:00 am, we have a special guest coming to our classroom, a Forensic Scientist, crime solving detective. We are all excited to be hearing, hands on, how crime cases are solved in the real world. Tomorrow is our Open House. It is in our classroom from 3:15-3:45. We are all looking forward to seeing you. By then, hopefully the detectives will be able to say, CASE CLOSED!