Analyzing fibers left at the crime scene

The Case of the Missing Person—A grade three forensic experience

Third grade students Molly Blanchard and Max Murakami-Moses recount how their grade solved a “crime” and learned the science to back up their conclusions.

During January, all grade three classes were part of a mystery that needed solving by the Grade 3 Detectives….

It was a normal Monday morning when a call came in from the office. The teacher said, “Follow me,” and we rushed into a different room with our science notebooks and iPads. There we saw blood, footprints and dog prints. There were Coke cans and a towel marked F.M. It made us a little scared.

We thought it was real to start with and then not and then real again. We got confused but excited.

Our teacher told us to take notes and figure out the problem. What problem? We took photos of our zones that were marked out with police tape. We discovered the missing person was Felix Maki, twin brother to Ms. Kikuchi. The next day we interviewed the suspects. They were Mr. Bender, Mr. Laleman, Ms. Kikuchi, Mrs. Fields and Mrs. Rynerson. Mrs. Fields did not answer any questions and acted suspicious. Mr. Laleman was acting very nicely but he had worrying eyes sometimes.

We tried to put together a theory linking the evidence and motive (why they might have done it.) Afterwards we received video footage that showed the crime taking place and the culprits being escorted through the cafeteria by ASIJ Security Guards.

What a fun way to learn about science and the importance of figuring out problems. Thanks to all the grade three teachers and “suspects” that helped out to make this possible. (Molly Blanchard and Max Murakami-Moses, grade 3 students)