July 5th / On Thursday the 23rd of June, the whole of Year 10 took part in Forensics Day.  Annabel Castello of 10T tells us all about it …

This was a day simply filled full of fun, excitement and opportunities to learn vital techniques essential in attaining justice: “There’s no such thing as getting away without a trace. There’s always evidence left behind.”- Clive Smith, Forensic Scientist.

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The previous evening there had been a ‘murder’, and the crime scene was in the Drama workshop. It was our mission as detectives to analyse and investigate the subtle clues present at the crime scene in order to unravel the mystery as to who was accountable for the death of Mr Thompson.

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The day was structured around performing various forensic techniques such as plaster casting shoe prints, analysing handwriting, fingerprinting, carrying out chromatography, and examining hairs and fibres. The day also incorporated visiting the crime scene, interviewing witnesses, and chemical investigations within the forensic laboratory.

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Everyone was placed into five separate ‘incident rooms’.  In each of these rooms five separate sub-groups were created.  In order to help us develop our teamwork skills we were placed with a diverse group of individuals from various different tutor groups.  Our objective was to work with one another and interpret pertinent information in order to reach our ultimate conclusion as a team. Each group evaluated evidence, experienced techniques, and intensely interviewed possible suspects, and visit both the crime scene and forensic lab.

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In the forensic laboratory, we analysed varying blood patterns in order to identify how blood had been spilt at the crime scene, consequently being provided with further evidence as to how the victim was executed.  Once we had established that the substance was indeed blood, we observed the droplet patterns, estimated the height which the blood fell from and the direction from which the attack took place.  Next, we created a plaster cast of the prints left behind by the murderer’s shoe.  We then tried to match up the plaster cast to the shoes of the suspects.

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We were presented with an abundance of essential evidence to inspect such as fingerprints, hair samples, fibres, and a letter which allowed us to examine each of the suspect’s calligraphy.  We tested the fingerprints left on a beaker by dusting it faintly with a fine powder. We analysed specific and individual characteristics of the fibres we found.  By analysing letters written the murderer, containing combination of characteristics which can be examined, using this we tried to identify who wrote the threatening letter.  All of these complex techniques enabled for us to reach conclusions as to which one of the ten suspects was actually the criminal.

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We transferred all of our findings onto a poster which was presented to our fellow students while we expanded on who we had assumed was to blame, and how we had come to this conclusion.   On the following day came the ‘Big Reveal’ where Mr. Downes took us through each of the suspect’s cases, and then identified the real culprit.

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Overall the day was tremendously enjoyable and exceedingly informative, providing all of the students with an accurate insight into the complex job of a Forensic Scientist.  Personally I believe this career option is exceptionally fascinating, and is a fantastic career to consider.