Year 10 Science Excursion - Forensic Science @ Flinders University


On Thursday 21 June, 10 Mary MacKillop College students from Year 10 attended a workshop at Flinders University to gain an insight into Forensic Science.

Throughout the day, three intriguing crime scenarios were presented to us with three suspects in each scenario. As a group, we undertook testing by using either chemical, biological or physical analytical techniques to gather evidence that would help us determine who may have been at the scene of the crime. We were able to test things such as:

  • fingerprinting to determine who had been at the scene of a crime,
  • gas chromatography and paper chromatography to analyse the ink from different pens used to write a note,
  • chemical testing to identify a white powder left at the scene of a crime,
  • soil pH to identify sources of different soils found on suspects’ bike tyres,
  • blood testing to identify whether or not blood found at the scene of the crime was human blood

We also examined blood splatters and droplets to determine how a victim at the scene of a crime may have been killed or injured by a suspect.

As a team of MacKillop girls, we were able to come up with one conclusion for two crimes. However, we were unable to come up with one for one scenario. It was a murder mystery that did not have enough evidence for us to form a conclusion. Nevertheless, we MacKillop girls were able to come up with multiple conclusions, which were very creative.

Ultimately, the day was very hands-on, fun filled, and an opportunity to practise problem solving and working in a group. Living in the shoes of a forensic scientist for a day is not an opportunity we get every day and will be a lasting memory all 10 of us will have for a very long time. For some of us, forensics and analytical chemistry may be a future study and career pathway.

“I always thought that forensic science and crime scene investigation was a very interesting topic. After today, I am truly considering it as a career path” – Elora 


Year 10 Student