Spring SAVY 2022 – Forensic Science for 1st/2nd Grade (Byrd)
What an amazing day of learning we had in our Forensic Science course on Saturday! The dedicated scholars were focused and committed to learning and practicing the habits of a scientist and deductive reasoning to solve a mystery.
We asked: How do scientists use forensic investigations to gather information to solve crimes and mysteries? Together students observed a constructed “crime” scene to help determine what happened to a missing laptop. They were excited to observed many possible clues, but most interestingly they found handwritten notes left on post-it notes and a spilled drinking cup with an unknown liquid on the desk. We asked: What relationships can be observed in different sciences and how can they work together to create accurate models to solve this mystery? Learning and using the processes of chromatography, pH analysis, and fingerprinting the students got to work to form and test their hypotheses. They analyzed ink samples by separating the mixtures of colors. They measured the pH of different liquids to identify the spilled liquid on the table (lemonade anyone?) and learned to identify patterns of arches, loops, and whorls in fingerprints that could be lifted from the drinking cup. Finally, we worked to put all the clues together and compared outcomes with suspect information. The laptop was recovered, the misunderstanding explained, and everyone was glad for the mystery to be solved!
Likely your child has already expressed interest in continuing this learning. Here is a link for five simple crime-solving experiments you can do at home with your child (supervision required). Additionally, there are many interesting books for children on forensic science including: Solve This! Forensics: Super Science and Curious Capers for the Daring Detective in You, by Kate Messner and National Geographic Kids. It was our extreme pleasure to engage in this work with your child, and we look forward to future opportunities ahead!