forensics 2012
Shodor > SUCCEED > Workshops > Archive > forensics 2012

The workshop started by describing the traits of a scenario that had been carried out by Kyle and Jackie. The scenario was a fake light saber fight that was totally unannounced. They came in the room and started making noises while "swinging lasers" at each other. The point of the scenario was for the students to observe how they didn't catch certain details when a surprising scenario cropped up. This is an allusion to crime scene witnesses who don't catch everything in an unexpected event. After analyzing how it can be hard for witnesses to take in all the details of an unexpected crime, two out of the five students were selected to be investigators, and the rest were deemed witnesses. The witnesses looked at a picture while the investigators closed their eyes. The investigators then had to sketch what the witnesses told them in order to replicate the "crime scene" in a picture. This was followed by a lesson on selective attention, and the video in which a basketball game with a gorilla was shown. Selective attention is the idea that humans pay a lot of attention to one thing at a time, but sometimes this draws attention from other things that are going one, especially in their peripherals. The basketball game video is one that illustrated this. In the video, a basketball was tossed around, and you were told to count the number of passes made by the people. While this is happening, a gorilla walks across the screen. Most people watching the video don't actually see the gorilla; an interesting study on selective attention. This was shown to illustrate the capability of victims or witnesses to see everything that occurred around them; which was not very strong.

Kyle taught a lesson next on forensic anthropology, showing us the difference between different skulls and pelvic bones. This would help an individual identify the gender/race of victims. At this point the students went on break, and when they came back they took part in a mock crime scene that the students would be able to solve. They analyzed the situation and tried to find any possible clues. These included fingerprints, blood splatter, and footsteps. This led into a lesson and exercise on fingerprints, and the students actually got to learn how to properly dust for fingerprints and how to match fingerprints to their owners.