Students of the ALP Program at Clarence Cannon Elementary got a special treat on Tuesday, Dec. 3, as real Crime Scene Investigators from the Lincoln County Sherriff’s Department came in and displayed several items used in forensics.
“The students got to see all of the supplies the Property and Evidence specialists use in the field when they are investigating a crime scene,” explained Joc Kreuger, ALP Program Coordinator. “The students also got to test for real fingerprints with actual dusting powder and brushes. This was a fun (and messy) experience.”
According to Kreuger, students in grades first through third got to fingerprint plastic cups and bags, as well as learn how to clean up the prints with a feather duster. Other topics of discussion were the three perspectives taken of evidence, overall, midrange and a close up. The students also learned how dental paste is used to gather footprint evidence.
“The students have been studying mysteries this semester. The mystery theme has allowed a lot of investigation and critical thinking skills to be practiced in the ALP room,” said Kreuger. “The mystery theme has provided many ways for us to analyze information. We have also learned about assumptions, generalizations, decoding secret messages, fingerprints, chromatography, alibis, pH testing, fiber analysis, evidence and organization of information. Our classroom even had a big crime scene set up for the students to analyze.”
Currently, Kreuger said they are learning about how to analyze information that cannot be seen using the sense of hearing.
“We have looked at mystery boxes with unknown contents. The students had to use their prior knowledge to make predictions about what was inside of each box,” said Kreuger. “We are also going to do an experiment on “Obscertainers”. It is a container with one steel ball inside. The students have to draw what it looks like inside the box by listening and analyzing the movements inside of the containers. Each container has a partition of some sort that the students cannot see. This allows them to make predictions and analyze their results.”
Going one step further, Kreuger said the students of the ALP Program had their own staged crime scene, where they had to study and determine who was guilty of borrowing a teddy bear and bringing it back dirty.
“The red herring of the crime was there were two guilty parties, not just one,” said Kreuger. “The goal of the ALP program is to provide students with critical thinking experiences that are unique from what they learn in the classroom.”