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Charles Darwin School

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Year 10 students identify the culprit in Forensic Science Challenge Day

Please enter an introduction for your news story here.The Forensic Science Challenge Day on 4 March began with an explanation of what forensic science is (the application of science to law) and the different branches it encompasses, including forensic entomology (the study of insects applied to law) and forensic odontology (dental science applied to law).

The students were arranged into small groups of four to five and began to delve deeper into several different aspects of forensic science, starting with fingerprints. There are three types of fingerprints (loops being the most common, then whorls and then arches) and we learnt more about the further divisions of these various groupings and the different features of a fingerprint that could help identify and match fingerprints, such as bridges, dots and lakes.

Next, students moved onto the topic of blood and looked at the various types of bloodstain patterns: projected bloodstains which occur when force is applied to the source of blood; passive bloodstains which occur when blood drops due to the force of gravity and transfer bloodstains which occur when a surface covered in blood makes contact with another. These patterns tell forensic scientists about the event that occurred, for example, a projected bloodstain with an arterial spurting spatter shows that someone was cut at a major artery.

After break time came the main event of the day — the murder scene scenario. Students were given a crime scene, a choice of victims and a large amount of evidence to analyse and interpret in order to determine which one of the suspects was the most likely culprit.

After lunch, the teams had to collate the evidence, choose what they felt was the most likely series of events and prepare a presentation to the rest of the groups.

All of the presentations made a strong case for why their chosen suspect was the perpetrator, but in the end one group was chosen to go through to the next round due to their teamwork, presentation and evidence collection skills. The winning team, comprising James Brook, Will Dalgliesh, Tom Dawkins and Scott Tiffin will compete in the regional final and we wish them good luck.

Mr Kelly