By Hannah Dawson-Smallwood
The Aspirations Project got off to a good start, where everyone who attended the Imperial College would take part in a CSI murder investigation. The Aspirations Project was attended by students from different schools in KS3 and KS4. The students were then split into two groups for the duration of the day.
Both groups took part in a variety of activities that related to forensics study (Imperial College mainly specialise in STEM subjects.) We began with fibre analysis and blood detection and typing. This involved using microscopes to differentiate fibres and link them to the suspects clothing. We also used Luminol spray solution, to detect iron traces (which are found in red blood cells) , which was then identified on clothing samples from the suspects by turning a brilliant blue when the spray came in contact with ‘blood.’ Our next two sessions were blood typing and fingerprinting, which involved studying antibodies and antigens to work out what blood type the victim/suspects were. We did this by using blood samples and testing them with Anti-A/B/Rh and seeing whether there was a reaction, which in this case would be a blood clot. Our last session was fingerprinting, which involved looking at a piece of evidence (part of the murder weapon) and using a UV light to detect traces of fingerprinting. We also looked at different types of fingerprints and learnt what makes our fingerprints unique. Finally we looked at all the evidence gathered in the sessions and created a dramatic ‘court case scenario’ which was presented to the jury. At the very end of the day, we found out exactly what happened to the victim and the motive behind it (which in our opinion was slightly lame).
Overall, the sessions that we took part in were incredibly well prepared and the people in charge taught us all a lot about forensic science and how it has been developed in such a way that we can confidently use it in real life crime situations. We would like to thank Mr Armstrong and Mrs Ponton for helping us enjoy the day. We learned quite a bit, but also, it was good meeting students from other schools to share the experience with. Hopefully our next Aspirations trip will be even better than this one (although very unlikely!).