|Talking about how paleontologists are kind of like criminal investigators... except for dinosaurs.|
|What makes a good witness?|
|Evaluating the crime scene!|
|Looking at fingerprint patterns|
|Touching the extracted DNA|
On Wednesday, we learned about blood, and how it can help us solve crimes in many ways. We did a blood typing activity, where we mixed blood samples with serums to determine if it was A, B, AB, or O blood. We did this experiment in the context of a crime, and used our results to figure out if the blood collected from the crime scene belonged to the victim or the murderer.
|Identifying the criminal based on blood type.|
|Examining blood spatter using water balloons.|
Then we did an activity to measure blood spatter. When blood is released, it hits the ground or other objects in a certain way, depending on what prompted the bleeding. For example, blood can drip or spray, it can shoot directly sideways or at an angle, it can create one single drop or a drop with a wide spatter around the edges. All of this can help investigators to determine the cause of a murder, what weapons used, how the victim and criminal were positioned, etc. To help us understand blood spatter, we dropped water balloons from the top of a ladder at several heights and angles, and measured how the spatter varied among the trials. This focused on correlating the size of blood stains to the distance from which a body fell.
Friday we looked at solutions. In our activity, a man was robbed and his coin collection was stolen. We looked at how water dissolves liquids to help determine if a glass of soda left at the crime scene was truly 6 hours old, or if it had been placed there as a fraud. We looked at how solids like sugar and sand dissolve or mix with water, how liquids dissolve in water, and finally how gases dissolve in water. We used three bottles of soda: one at cold temperature, one at room temperature, and one at a hot temperature, and saw which one could fill a balloon more quickly, or which one dissolved and released the gas faster.
|Seeing how gas dissolves in water|
In the middle of our day, however, we got notice that some amber was stolen from the Museum on Wednesday night and, Thursday being a holiday, it was not realized until Friday morning. Police helped us to collect the evidence and identify 3 suspects, but we needed our expert camper investigators to help us solve the crime. We looked at fingerprints, handwriting from a note left at the scene, and blood samples to help identify the criminal. Luckily, with our new knowledge of crime scene investigation, we were able to accurately identify the criminal, and we got the amber back safely to the Museum without any harm to the specimen.
|Examining the evidence from the crime scene of the amber robbery|
It was an exciting end to an exciting week! We look forward to another thrilling week of crime scene investigation!