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Year 6 Forensic Crime Investigation at "We the Curious"

21 February 2019

Year 6 visited We the Curious, in Bristol, for a science-related forensics workshop. As soon as we arrived, we were taken up to a laboratory, where our science instructor taught us about fingerprints. We were instructed to add water into plaster of Paris, to make a paste, which was then used to produce an imprint of our fingers. Next, we were taught about chromatography, which was fascinating; this is used at a crime scene to see the different dyes in ink. We examined several specimens and drew conclusions.

Next, tasked with finding a glove, a mug, a bloodstain, a footprint and a shopping list, we set off on our investigation. Collecting the evidence around the top floor of the building was an extremely enjoyable experience. We started off by investigating a blood-covered footprint and taking a picture of it whilst measuring. Next we found a glove with an intriguing hair on it. Rushing to the crime scene, where the murder was committed, we found many key parts of evidence. All evidence was concealed in a transparent evidence bag.

After a brain-fuelling lunch, the afternoon came with many surprises in store. Our DNA samples had been preserved and were ready to be examined by students in teams of six. Using pipettes and chromatography, we managed to investigate each suspect's DNA. To do this, we had to put each suspect's DNA into an electrically conductive gel-like substance. After being plugged into an electrical socket for 15-20 minutes, our samples were ready to examine. The lights were turned down and everyone in the room wore protective goggles to block out blinding light. Looking at the samples of DNA, we could see that suspect 2, Robert Nobel, had the exact same DNA as the one found at the crime scene. When it came to writing our crime report, the whole year group came to the conclusion that Suspect 2 was the murderer (homicide).

Overall we had a jam-packed (but fantastic) day filled with fun and high-level science. Our instructor described our behaviour as ‘exemplary’ and said that he was able to take our learning up to university level as we were so engaged! It was a truly inspiring day.

Report by Megan, Cesca, Tilly, Isla, Jess, Hettie and Flora S

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