Thursday, July 3, 2014

CSI: Ann Arbor 1

Crime scene photos were taken by campers
Monday was our first day of CSI camp and we spent it learning about observation and evidence.  Campers learned about crime scene basics and solved a few riddles and mysteries to start thinking like detectives.  We also played several games to test our observational prowess including a memory match game and "Setting the Scene", a game where campers rearrange a room for each other to test their observational memory.  Campers also documented our staged crime scene, carefully finding, measuring, plotting, and describing evidence and coming up with their own theories about how and why a crime was committed.  Our junior detectives are well on their way to solving some big cases.
A suspicious shoe print. Did we find a match?

Carefully documenting the crime scene with evidence markers

Studying ridgeology and trying to match fingerprints!
Tuesday, we focused on physical evidence.  Campers learned how to take fingerprints and became experts in ridgeology (the study of fingerprints and their identification).  They also were able to study chromatography.  Did you know black ink isn't always black?  It's often made up of several different dyes.  You can separate these dyes using water and chromatography paper to determine which pen was used to write the "suspicious note".  We used different types of glitter as evidence to create a "crafty" mystery to study trace evidence.  We were able to get up close with our fingerprints and our trace evidence with magnifying glasses and stereoscopes, too.  Campers also learned evidence collection techniques by making observations about a crime scene and then carefully collecting objects and substances deemed relevant to the crime.

Taking our own fingerprints, with a partner's help of course!
An up close look at trace evidence!

Wednesday was all about blood!  After a thorough discussion and presentation on the basics of blood, we started work on two big projects.  We measured "blood" spatter distance and velocity with water balloons to learn how professionals evaluate spatter evidence at the scene of a crime.  We also learned about blood typing and solved the case of who killed Ernie by testing blood samples from the victim, suspects, and the murder weapon.  By ruling out the blood types of some suspects, we were able to find the true murderer.

Measuring the "blood" spatter!

Matching handwriting samples becomes a fun game

Blood typing!

Testing the blood found at the scene!
Friday, there was a thief in our midst!  One of the camp staff from the afternoon stole a precious museum artifact.  With the campers' new found expertise, we used all our skills in crime scene investigation to narrow down the three suspects and discover the true perpetrator. Each suspect had the motive and opportunity, but only hard evidence was going to let us know for sure. Campers collected fingerprints from the scene, tested and compared blood samples from the scene and suspects, and matched fibers and fingerprints to uncover the truth.  Ask your camper who did it and how they knew!

Fiber analysis!

Dusting for prints!

Collecting the hard evidence

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