Mansfield sixth-formers invited to solve 'murder' in science celebration

Sixth-formers in Mansfield put their crime-solving skills to the test as part of British Science Week.

By Jon Ball
Friday, 8th April 2022, 10:02 am

The forensic science team at West Nottinghamshire College’s Mansfield and Ashfield Sixth Form College, on Chesterfield Road South, Mansfield, mocked-up their own crime scene for students as part of the week-long celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths

A-Level students were invited to enter the ‘crime scene’ to discover what their forensic science peers learn on their course and challenged to use their scientific, analytical and strategic skills to solve a ‘murder’.

The scene was set up like a real-life situation with the victim, potential weapons, evidence and fake blood splatters cordoned off with police barrier tape. Students were challenged to report on their findings and learn how to record forensic evidence.

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Forensic science students Chloe Gormley, Aliesha Holmes and Ruby Dennis get green fingered in the courtyard area.

People could try out how to take fingerprint samples using aluminium fingerprint powder and a soft brush, which was dusted onto a bottle which had already been handled. Students learnt how to apply the powder then lift the print using tape and sealing it behind an acetate sheet, before analysing how fingerprints are made up.

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Other highlights during the week included a crystal garden in a science laboratory and a colourful planting project outside to look at plant biology.

Students had to help solve a 'murder' at a mock crime scene.

More than a dozen planters, pots and troughs were prepared with compost and planted with primroses, pansies and small fir trees thanks to students volunteering their time.

Ruby Dennis, a BTEC applied science student, said: “I really enjoy science. We learn a bit of everything like biology, chemistry and physics. My favourite is biology and learning about the body. Eventually I want to be a forensic scientist.

“This subject is really important I feel; for example in a murder case, to be able to solve it through science and give a family some closure on their relative’s death. The forensic side of science is intriguing.

“I’m hoping to go on to university next to go into this area in more depth.”

Evidence at the 'crime scene' was labelled, measured and tested.

Alison Lincoln, head of academic studies, said: “We enjoyed showing our A-Level students the wonderful world of science – not just those studying science.

“It’s created a lot of interest in the projects we’ve had running and has opened people’s eyes to just how much science interweaves in our daily lives.”

Crstalised metal salts were selected to add to water to grow crystals.
The salts then created a slow-growing crystal formation.