We aimed to develop:
- Skills, knowledge, confidence, family engagement and team working
- An awareness and pride in the scientific research and developments taking place locally by linking researchers with the public
- Confidence for adults to explore, test, experiment, discover and communicate about the wonders of the world around them!
- Build long term relationships with groups in Glasgow, Dundee, Fife and the overall community
To create a community-led learning experience by working directly with adult groups in the community, and to develop long term relationships by offering an opportunity to be a part of an appealing and enriching project
Summary of activity:
We engaged 200 adults in our CSI CSWhy CSHow course. The adults took part in a 6-week learning programme where they had to solve a murder. They were introduced to crime scene investigation in week 1 and had the chance to try on crime scene suits, investigate the crime scene and put down evidence markers. They were also introduced to our murder story in this first session. In week 2, they learned about DNA and looked at the DNA results from the evidence they selected in week 1. Week 3 was fingerprints and the groups took their own prints before looking at the murder weapon, and evidence selected from week 1, to narrow down the suspects. Week 4 offered them the chance to listen to experts in Forensic Science talk about their lives and how they got into their careers in STEM subjects, before allowing the groups to ask questions. Week 5 included a trip around Abertay Universityâ��s forensic science department to see what a real laboratory looks like and to get an insight into University and research in their local area. Finally, week 6 culminated with a mock court case for the accused, the community groups acted as the jury and had the final say.
Groups filled in an evaluation form. This showed the project to be a large success with many groups showing an interest in areas of science that they might have shied away from before. In addition, some participants have now signed up to local college courses or University.
What went well:
1. Groups loved hearing from experts in the field
2. The murder story throughout the classes really captured their imagination and made them want to learn more
3. The opportunity to get involved in the mock court case
What was learned:
1. Working with groups over a long period can be very beneficial for the community groups confidence
2. Communities are very interested in local science
3. CSI captivates all ages
Top tips and advice for others
1. Create a story to capture interest
2. Encourage local scientists to get involved
3. Make it interactive and target their interests