Forensics special event weekend at Satrosphere

Project aims:

The aims of the family weekend were to showcase the fantastic work done by the local SPSA and the James Hutton Institute and allow families a chance to meet real forensics scientists. This provided an insight into the popular topic of forensics science and allowed us to showcase lesser known facets like soil forensics and the use of polarized light on plastics.


Appeal to a diverse audience and an older demographic than our normal target audience by bringing in external presenters and professionals from the field.

Summary of activity:

We collaborated with SPSA to produce an interactive workshop to solve a fake crime at Satrosphere. Volunteers were dressed in full crime scene garb and sent into the fake crime scene to collect evidence for later analysis. There were 4 evidence types left at the scene and a station for each one, so the group was split into 4 sub groups which rotated through the various stations. The 4 stations were: fibre, DNA, bodily fluids, and footwear/tred pattern analysis.

We also had other members of the SPSA manning stalls on finger printing and finger print analysis, and using polarized light to match samples of plastic to there source using a polarizing light table. The James Hutton Institute provided a forensic microscope activity and an expert talk on soil forensics.

Evaluation approach:

Direct visitor feedback

What went well:

1.External partners were willing and enthusiastic

2.We pre-booked the CSI workshop to ensure the SPSA had a full house

3.Topic was extremely popular

What was learned:

1.Pre-booking worked well for workshop- we should have done the same for the expert talk.

2. Pre-booking was promoted largely though social media and that worked well for us.

3.Different organisations work to very different time scales; some may need a tremendous amount of lead time to ensure availability.

Top tips and advice for others

1.Confirm all details with external presenters and send out reminders a few days before the event

2.When looking for external presenters contact way more people than you require and contact them several weeks earlier than you would think necessary.


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About the contributor

Marie Dare

I works as an education officer at Satrosphere Science Centre, a small centre in Aberdeen.…

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