With the right projects, learning about science can be very exciting. If you've ever wanted to help solve a mystery, here is your chance. There are so many ideas on this subject .Pretend to be an investigator and use all of your senses and science to help solve the mystery of the crime.
Being a crime investigator is especially fun for school holidays activities.
Before you begin any science experiment, you need to ensure that you follow several steps to be safe:
- Inform your parents that you will be doing an experiment.
- Ask them to help you if you aren't sure what you're doing.
- Clean up and put everything back when you're done.
Checking for Fingerprints
One of the best types of evidence at a crime scene is fingerprints. Fingerprints are unique to each person, and if the crime unit has matching prints on file to the prints found at the scene, there is a strong chance they have found the criminal.
Ask a friend to help you check your fingerprints. For this project, you'll need an ink pad at least the size of your largest finger, a pad of paper, a pen or pencil and a magnifying glass.
Stick your finger onto the ink pad. Roll it to each side slightly. Don't press too hard or too much ink will be applied to your finger. Just press down as if you were pressing your finger to click a computer mouse. Then, ask your friend to roll your ink-coated finger side-to-side onto a sheet of plain paper. When you pull your finger away, you should see your finger print left on the paper. Take a print of each finger on your hand, and, using a pen or pencil, label your fingers on the paper. Use a magnifying glass to inspect your fingerprints up close.
To dust your fingerprints, you'll need a clear drinking glass, olive oil, cocoa powder and a soft, bushy paint brush. Press a finger onto your skin where it is slightly oily or into a very tiny drop of olive oil to get your finger a little greasy. Wipe your finger off if there is too much oil. Press your finger onto the side of glass like you did as you transferred ink from your finger to the piece of paper. Sprinkle a little cocoa powder onto the glass where the print is. Let it sit for a couple of seconds, then, using a paint brush, gently dust away the cocoa powder. Your cocoa-covered finger print should be left behind for you to inspect.
How good are you and your friends at identifying an object when you are only able to feel it? Ask your parents to help you out with this experiment. For this mystery, you'll need a large, thick sock, and paper and pens for enough people playing. Hand the sock over to your parents. Ask them to go around the house and collect at least ten small items to put into the sock. Once the sock is full, tie off the top.
Some item ideas to include in the sock are:
Once they're done, have them pass around the sock and give each participant a minute to feel around the outside of sock. Then pass it to the next person. Once everyone had a minute to feel the sock, ask everyone to write down what they think they felt inside of the sock. See who can identify the most objects.
In this experiment, you will be doing what is called chromatography. This is an experiment often done in chemistry and biology to identify components of what you're testing. In this case, you're going to be identifying separate colors of pens. To do this, you will need:
- Five short drinking glasses (or use one and just wash it out and dry it between uses)
- Five different-colored felt-tipped pens
Cut up the coffee filters into five one-inch strips. At the top of each strip, draw a circle of ink. Use a different colored felt-tipped pen for each strip. Next, fill up five drinking glasses with water until the water is about an inch deep. On the outside of the glass, line up your filter paper with the bottom of the glass and use a piece of tape to mark where the ink is (about an inch up the side of the glass). Tape the top of the strip of paper to the pencil so that the ink is at the top when you hang the pencil horizontally. Set the pencil overtop of the glass so that the bottom of the coffee filter strip hangs into the water, but isn't touching the ink. The water will climb its way up the filter. Once it reaches the ink, remove the filter paper strip. Place it on a napkin or paper towel to dry and label what color pen was used. Do the same thing for each different-colored pen. What did you see happen to the ink dots?