Friday, August 5, 2016

CSI: Ann Arbor

CSI: Ann Arbor has come to an end on Friday, with the campers solving their own crime mystery!
Campers collect evidence

On Monday, the campers learned how to document crime scenes.  The campers watched a slideshow of a mock crime scene and saw how real investigators collect evidence, and what a trained eye looks for!  Then the campers solved a mock crime scene where they took what they learned and applied it by collecting evidence, and drawing a map of the crime scene.  Finally to end the day, the campers solved the mystery of the case of the missing computer chip!
Campers work together to solve the case of the missing computer chip

A camper dusts for finger prints
On Tuesday, it was all about the evidence of the crime scene.  The campers learned about how to properly collect evidence, and how the chain of custody works. Using a fabric identification kit, the campers learned how they can identify unknown fabrics using dyes and other chemical tests.  The campers also lifted latent prints off of various household objects using magnetic dusting powder (the same kind real detectives use).  They ended the day with an outside activity where they learned about how unknown soil samples can be identified and matched with known soil samples to link criminals to the crime scene!
Campers compare fibers closely under a stereoscope

The blood model campers used
On Wednesday, blood was spilled as we investigated how blood and DNA can be used by investigators to match criminals to their crimes scenes.  By exploring a model of blood, the campers learned about all the various components of blood.  Red blood cells were represented by small red water beads.  White blood cells were ping pong balls, and the platelets were red foam rectangles. All of these items were suspended in water, which represented the plasma in our blood!  The campers also tested blood samples (synthetic blood), for A antibodies, B antibodies, and the RH factor.
Blood test kits the campers used with snythetic blood

On Thursday, the older and younger groups went their separate ways. The there oldest groups, Orange, Blue, and Red, took an M-Bus to visit the University of Michigan police station, where we were guided by Officer Kaitlin.  They learned about how the police deal with criminals, and also
Campers get to try real police gear on!
got to see the gear the police offices use, and go went to the communications center were they saw all the screens the central dispatch uses to receive 911 calls!  The younger groups had their own secret agent scavenger hunt with clues.  They have to twist their way around laser beams, and decode secret messages. Then Officer Rice visited the museum from the University Police department and talked to our younger campers about what police officers do.  They also got to ask their own questions to the police officers!

Our secret agents complete the obstacle course challenge

The younger campers got to sit in a real police car!

Campers receive their police report

On Friday, our regularly planned activities were interrupted by a murder mystery, and a missing mammoth tooth.  The museum enlisted the campers to use all the skills they learned throughout the week to collect evidence, interrogate the suspects, and put the clues together to solve these museum crimes!  The campers used all the skills they learned, and were able to catch both criminals and recover the missing mammoth tooth!

Campers deliberate over evidence they have collected

A camper carefully examines fingerprints for a match

Campers solve the crime and recover the missing mastodon tooth

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