Students walked past the crime scene tape, looking for anything out of place. The jewels had been stolen and it was up to them to figure out who had taken them.
This was the scenario given to students who participated in CSI: Catch Me If You Can Saturday at the BCTC’s Newtown Campus.
In an office in the basement of the building a police officer greeted them and they searched for clues at a mock crime scene. After getting a look around, they headed upstairs to learn how to analyze the evidence left at the scene to determine which of the suspects was the jewel thief.
Students practiced different ways to find fingerprints and collect shoe impressions. They also participated in hands-on activities to determine blood type and learned how to analyze ink to tell which pen was used to write a note.
At every station, science instructors and students from BCTC lead the activities and explained how the evidence they collected could be used to catch a criminal.
“My favorite part was testing which pen was used by the culprit,” said Evan Monk, 13. The ink chromatography station allowed students to see the different colors within the ink of various writing utensils.
Skyler Trowel, 10, enjoyed the ink chromatography as well. “I liked being able to sample different pens and see the ink dissolve into different colors,” she said. Trowel also liked the blood analysis where she saw crystals form to determine which blood type was in the sample.
“I learned quite a bit. I like the idea of being able to find a person by using science,” said Elizabeth Moore, 10. Moore is even considering having a CSI themed birthday party.
The students walked away from the event with copies of their fingerprints, evidence collection bags, and a head full of science knowledge.
The next science outreach event is scheduled for September 26 from 7:30-9:00 p.m. at the Newtown Campus and will focus on astronomy.