During ‘Science Week’ the Junior children became police detectives for the day in their Forensic Science Workshop. The school hall was cordoned off as a crime scene as a mock burglary had occurred. Brabyns Junior Detectives wore forensic suits and carried out the following tests to determine who had committed the crime:
Observing footprints and matching the soles of shoes to different suspects.
- Using chromatography to separate inks to find out whose pen was used to write a letter.
- Handwriting analysis of the suspects to again decipher who wrote the letter.
- Piecing together a broken car headlight to identify a suspect’s car.
- Use a witness statement to draw a face-fit of a possible suspect.
- Check suspects clothing for blood spots with a UV light.
- Dusting for fingerprints and looking for blood spots around the crime scene to detect which way the suspects entered and left the building.
After break, the children learned more about DNA fingerprinting and how the police catch criminals by analysing their DNA from fingerprints, hair samples, saliva and blood, etc. They each had a go at finding suspect fingerprints using a magnetic brush and iron filings. Plus they used the same technique to make their own fingerprints and find out their fingerprint designs.
Later on, Brabyns hall was converted into ‘Brabyns Court Room’ where the children acted out a courtroom drama. A judge resided with two barristers, one for the prosecution and one for the defence. A Forensic Scientist was questioned and went through all the forensic evidence that the children had found about the suspects earlier in the day. A number of witnesses and suspects were interviewed and the case was closed with one of the suspects being found guilty by the jury.
What an amazing experience for the children.