Thursday, November 15, 2012

Homeschool Forensics Activities

Today we had our quasi-weekly Forensics Lab.  This semester I have had Cree and several of her friends over here to work on Forensics related activities.  The kids do readings on their own in several Forensics books, and come over to do the activities together.  Thus far we have performed labs with hair evidence, fabric and fibers, and this week we have focused on blood.  Specifically, we had blood testing kits so the kids could test for their blood types, a bucket o' blood (made from corn syrup, food coloring, and a bit of dishwashing liquid so that hopefully it will wash out easily), and our lab book which guided us in several activities involving dripping and spattering blood and observing drop and spatter characteristics, learning all the information one can potentially gain from blood drips and spatters.

First up, the blood testing.  They all endured finger pricks bravely and conducted the test.  There were 3 A's, one O, and one AB, with about half being RH - and half +.

Then we moved outside for the Blood Games.  It was chilly, in the mid 50's, so the "blood" was very thick.  We set the container in some hot water, but it still thickened as soon as it hit a surface and did not spatter as much as they thought it would.

They dropped it from pipettes held above the surface.

 They dropped it from angles on a sliding surface to observe patterns in the drips.

They flung it from knives at the garage door ( I sure hope it cleans off ok!).

I'm not sure how much they will retain about the characteristics of blood from a biology standpoint, the statistics on the different blood types and blood factors, the formula for acceleration of something dropped, or the trigonometry involved in determining the location of the origination of a drop or group of spatters -- but they sure had fun flinging the simulated blood around.

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