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Spring SAVY 2023: Cracking the Case (Mall) for Grades 1 & 2

Posted by on Monday, January 30, 2023 in blog, SAVY, Uncategorized.

Day 3: Saturday, February 11


Well, it is official–the kids cracked the case! After days of learning how to collect evidence and examine crime scenes and different types of evidence collection, they discovered that the theft was actually a case of a misunderstanding. They cracked the case after some fingerprint analysis, handwriting analysis, and recreation of the “crime.”

They learned about DNA, DNA analysis, and took a DNA sample from their cheeks, Our chromatography lesson helped with ink identification, the handwriting analysis proved the key as we analyzed a note left at the scene, we made charts analyzing the facts and evidence, and our only disappointment was that you actually need a computer to run DNA samples. I’m the end, they were able to eliminate suspects until they found their perp.

I am so glad that the kids were able to have fun collecting fingerprints, learning about the individuality of lip prints, the uniqueness of eye scans, circumstantial evidence versus hard evidence, and even how warrants have to be obtained before you can search a home or office without permission (they really wanted to check out a locked office- LOL). Thank you for sharing your wonderful kids with us at SAVY! They did a great job!

Dr. Mall

Day 2: Saturday, February 4


Saturday was a really fun day! First, we had a guest speaker, my daughter Julia, to teach us about fingerprints and why we use them. Julia is an anthropology major with minors in forensics and archaeology, and has worked to recover items at Fort Negley in Nashville, as well as working for the DPAA to recover a WWII crash in France last summer. Julia was part of joint venture with Vanderbilt and MTSU to work on the WWII site, and they are the only schools in the country that get to work on those sites! Her lesson included rich vocabulary, how to identify the three main types of fingerprints, and how scientists use that information to determine identity.

We then took that information and the kids were able to idetify the types of fingerprints they have. The whorls, arches, and loops are unique to each finger, and even identical twins have different finger prints! The kids had a great time learning how to take fingerprints and they printed themselves and then identified what types of fingerprints each finger had.

Next, we learned how to dust for fingerprints, and they had so much fun learning how (that is more difficult than it sounds!) and pulling fingerprints off water bottles, handrails, doorknobs, glass, and items in the classroom. They are now ready to get fingerprints from the crime scene!

Next week, we will be at the point where we can collect evidence from the scene, and we will also do some acids/bases tests and learn about DNA and how that can be used through hair samples and skin samples.

It has been a lot of fun, but they have learned some great science! From dermal ridges (which form the fingerprints) to mutations, they have learned a lot! We are looking forward to showing you everything next Saturday!

Have a great week!

Dr. Mall

Day 1: Saturday, January 28

It was a very fun and exciting day today!  Students learned a little about each other and played some introduction games and started sleuthing!

We investigated the office that a laptop is missing from, and really looked for clues, formed hypotheses, and tried to pay attention to the details to help us solve the crime!  They learned a lot of new vocabulary, and we talked about ways to investigate like a detective! They then drew maps of the crime scene and looked for clues.  They were really fun to listen to!

We then learned how to do chromatography and the kids had fun running chromatography tests on different kinds of marker ink.  They had such a great time running the tests and were amazed at how the black ink left a swath of colors on their tests!  They were then able to solve a practice detective case by matching the ink to the perp!

Next week, we will continue with our evidence gathering and we will have a forensics expert that will work with the kids on fingerprinting!  It will be so fun!

Have a great week and we look forward to seeing your awesome kids on Saturday!

Dr. Mall